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Ml Wamm .'.■■■ 

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"Sic voeyenda .etas commutat tkmpoka bebum; 
Quod fuit in pretio, fit xili.o dexiqii: honore." 

— Lucretius. 





Entered according to \.t ol < ongreas, in the jrear 1880, by 

\I.I BED Willi LM8 a CO., 
In tin- office "t the Librarian of < ongreas, at Washington. 


In submitting this work to public uses I avail myself of the 
opportunity to return thanks for the very gracious reception 
vouchsafed the School History of North Carolina. Whatever 
of merit may be in that work has been generously pointed out 
and extolled by the many writers who have noticed it in the 
newspapers of this and other States, and that some harsh criti- 
cism should have been mingled in the general chorus of applause 
was by no means unexpected or deprecated. Many valuable 
hints and corrections have been suggested, and I trust by dili- 
gence to remove in this book and the subsequent editions of the 
smaller work the faults which have been thus not unkindly in- 
dicated. My convictions as to the correctness of the outlines 
and proportions of that picture of our past have not been 
disturbed. The matters discussed in this volume are of the 
past and rest upon data which are now fixed and irreversible. 
That any one should question the prominence I have given 
Colonel John Harvey argues a want of attention h> the Legis- 
lation and correspondence of the period embraced in the two 
last decades of our provincial history. The letter-books of Gov- 
ernors Tryon and Martin, the journals of the House of Assembly , 
the proceedings of the two first Provincial Congresses and the 
numerous proclamations sent out by Governor Josiah Martin 
from New-Bern in 1774 and 1775, are all cited to show how 
abundantly I am justified in my disposition and grouping of the 
figures on our historical canvas. 


\ very learned and elegant critic baa followed the usual mis- 
take of historians in confounding ( reneral Thomas Person with his 
nephew, \\ ho represented < rranville county in the ( reneral Assem- 
blies daring the earlier years of the present century. I follow 
the family records as to bis death, and cite Drs. William and 
Benjamin F.Green of Franklin, blood relations of the deceased 
statesman, for the truth of my statement. The correspondence 
of Henry Eustace and Colonel Benjamin McCulloh is my 
authority for dropping the usual mi-take in spelling that 
name, and I confidently rely upon those departed worthies 
for the propel- rendition of their patronymic. My departure 
in the instance of Ramsenr is not based upon the same rule; 

for when I recollect that General Person was also called 
Parsons and Passons by the letter writers and public prints of 
that day, I am safe in distrusting the orthography of that emi- 
nently patriotic hut not very literary era. Admiral Grenville 
ha- heen obscured in the same ancient habit of writing his name 
in a multitude of different ways. 

This work has been written in a spirit as broad as the limit- of 
the State. 1 have intentionally neglected no portion of the < lom- 
monwealth and known no favorites in my treatment of the past. 
< >f course a good history is amenable to certain rule- of art. and 
like a drama or historical painting, must give prominence • and 
light to certain figures. The great qualities and '\rti\- of the 
actor- have settled this arrangement. I was uol satisfied to re- 
produce the flat and lifeless narrative of Judge Martin, but in 
laying on my colore I have remembered the censure incurred by 
Lord Macaul.iv and imagined nothing as to traits where unsup- 
plied by the record-. 

The most difficult period of our history is included in the 
four years of the late war. This arises from the plenitude of 


material. There are men living from whose conjoined testi- 
mony as noble a statement could be eliminated as has immor- 
talized the narrative of Napier concerning the Peninsular War. 
I trust that some steps may be taken by the next Assembly to 
prepare a sketch of each regiment sent out by North Carolina 
and that the muster-rolls will be perfected and perpetuated by 
publication. In the distant future such a work would be to 
North Carolina what the Domesday Book has long been to 
England, and no prouder guerdon could descend to our pos- 
terity than the presence of our names in that immortal record. 
In the laborious years given to the preparation of this work, 
many wise and valued friends have aided in its progress. To 
none of these am I so largely obliged as to my excellent and 
tireless wife. To her affectionate and critical comments I am 
indebted for any literary excellence that may be found in the 
style and general treatment of the different epochs. To my kins- 
man, Colonel John H. Wheeler, I am also largely indebted, not 
only for advice and unpublished material, but in his most val- 
uable work on our State history I found a mine exhaustless in 
facts and figures. To his brother, Dr. Samuel J. Wheeler, I 
am similarly obliged for rare and invaluable historic memoranda. 
I must return thanks also to my learned and gentle friend, 
Captain Samuel A. Ashe, who so nobly continues the virtues of 
his ancient family. His zeal in the vindication of North Caro- 
lina is only equalled by his kindly and unselfish aid to me, who 
had so few reasons to expect so much assistance. I would also 
return thanks to Messrs. George Davis and Henry Xutt of Wil- 
mington, and to Horatio Davis, Esq., of Chatham, Virginia, 
for similar favors. In the same way I have been laid under 
lasting obligations by General W. R. Cox of Wake, and Mrs. 
John O. Askew of Hertford. 


Willi the bope thai what i- thus made public and permanent 
may redound to the better knowledge and appreciation of North 
Carolina both at home and abroad, and thai the same traits of 
patience, justice and fidelity may ever mark and illustrate us as 
a people, I am the reader's obliged and humble Bervant, 

.1. W. MOORE. 


It was an age of wondrous events when England saw Sir 
Humphrey Gilbert and his half-brother, Walter Raleigh, initiate 
the movement which has resulted in the creation of her present 
empire. The wise and lion-hearted Elizabeth was on the throne, 
with subtle and unimpassioned Burleigh as prime minister. 
Bacon, the greatest of philosophers, was slowly pondering amid 
his law books problems beyond the reach of his contemporaries. 
Sir Philip Sydney, with his courtly and worthless uncle, the 
Earl of Leicester, was battling in behalf of the long-suffering 
Dutch. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were carousing at the 
Boar's-head tavern, amid the production of dramas that have 
made them immortal. The frail and beauteous Queen of Scot- 
land was languishing in her long captivity. The battle between 
Protestant liberty and Popish intolerance was at its height. The 
world has never seen such a moral upheaval ; and no other age 
has been crowned with more illustrious names. 

With the exception of Ireland and the Channel Islands, the 
dominion of England at that day was confined to its own narrow 
limits. Scotland, after centuries of heroic and availing contest, 
was still an independent monarchy. The unfortunate Mary 
Tudor, having lost the love of her husband and people, had 
died of a broken heart at the capture of Calais, the last of her 
French possessions. At such a time were the first steps taken 
for English colonization on the American continent. 

It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of this 
transaction in the subsequent history of mankind. Almost a 
century had elapsed since the great discovery by Christopher 
Columbus. The child who had been born into the world jusl 
as Cortez sailed upon his Mexican expedition, was then a man 
of three score and ten years. Almost as long a time had elapsed 


since Pizarro had overt In-own the [nca£ and their strange civiliz- 
ation in Peru. Through all that great and portentous interval, 
Spain had been erecting her different vice-regal courts and ap- 
propriating the princely revenues arising from her American 
poss< — ions, \,,t an English fool had disturbed the solitude of 
the great wilderness' between the Rio Grande and the St. Law- 
rence. De Soto had traversed the territory of our Southern 

State- and had looked nj the Mississippi River in loll 

Seven years earlier the French, with ('artier, had penetrated to 

where Quebec now stands, l>ut not a man of that realm, which 
was BOOH to become the greatest maritime power of the world, 
knew or cared for the existence of the land we now inhabit 

Sir Walter Raleigh, in the enthusiasm of his genius, with tin 
aid of his unfortunate brother, was planning an expedition des- 
tined to become more lasting in it- effects than any of which 
history holds record, with the single exception of that of the 
trembling caravels which had sailed out from Cadiz in 1492. 
In that august epoch of the sixteenth century much had already 
been accomplished for human advancement. The brave Monk of 
Wittemburg had sundered many of the link- of tin' chain with 
which priestcrafl had fettered mankind. The heavens were red 
with the light of the coming sun. The slavish submission and 
indifference of men to thing- both temporal and spiritual, which 
had re-ted like a nightmare for SO long a time on all Christendom, 

wen- happily at last g ! and the lust instincts of the human 

race were at Last directed to a solemn ami most determined in- 
vestigation of the true relation- of God and Hi- creature-, of 
the priesthood to the laity and of anointed rulers to their hitherto 
unquestioning subjects. < Inn powder and the printing pre— were 

allied in a mw crusade against the Vatican and the panoplied 

barons in their fortified strongholds. The battle would have 
been but half gained had free America not come to the rescue of 
the chained and environed masses of unhappy Europe. Great 
nitrides had been made in the right direction, but men had guessed 
at only a tithe of the possibilities of the future. The kings 
with their armies and the priests with their inquisitions were to< 


much tor the half-blinded eyes of men just emerging from the 
long stupor of a thousand years. 

When the stream of immigration to America had been fully 
established, the spirit of liberty in Europe, so potent in the times 
of Luther, had been well-nigh trampled to extinction. In Spain 
it had utterly and irretrievably perished. In France it had sunk 
under St. Bartholomew massacres from formidable armed asser- 
tion to such obscurity that Louis XIV. could ere lone venture 
upon the revocation of the edict of Nantes and consequent loss 
of his Protestant subjects. In England, although the tire- of 
Smithfield had been extinguished, the struggle for a day of better 
things was still painful and slow. A century later saw John 
Bunyan in Bedford jail and all the devilish machinery of fcesl 
oaths in full blast. English emigration to America was the 
source to which the world is indebted for a large portion of its 
present liberality and enlightenment. Oliver Cromwell, but for 
the tyrannous interference of Archbishop Laud, would have 
sought an asylum in our midst. He was like a great host 
of other men who did come over and find the boon they de- 
sired. The spirit thus nurtured amid American solitudes \va> 
reflected upon sympathetic hearts in the fatherland. This gene- 
ration has witnessed the magnetic union of the old and new 
worlds, but long before the day of Morse and Field, God had 
made a mightier chain of communication which triumphed over 
distance and thrilled the hearts of Europe into unison with our.-. 

American government and society are yet far from reach- 
ing perfection in their details. There is abundant need of 
correction both in manners and morals; but our system, with all 
its faults, is a thousand-fold better than any monarchy ever seen 
in the world. Misguided men are sometimes heard advocating 
a return to such'a rule as that from which our forefathers emi- 
grated. They vainly imagine it would prove a panacea forthosi 
ills we see so abundantly growing out of sectional and party 
hatred. Let such a man think for a moment of how King 
James I. requited the great services of Sir Walter Raleigh, and 
blush for his folly. The human rare -reined to have culmi- 


X HISTORY OF NORTH C \i:<>[ i\ \ 

aated, in thai immortal era, in glorious adventure and audacity 
of speculation. Ii was the crowning epoch of advancement; 
but : 1 1 ■ i i« 1 it- genius, pageantry and upheaval, no figure <>!' all 
thai Bplendid throng of illustrious men and women surpasses 
tlte interest attaching to the chivalrous, patriotic and unfortu- 
nate Raleigh. He was only an English gentleman, l»ut in hi- 
heroic life became more variously distinguished than any man 
of whom history makes mention. To his far-seeing sagacity 
England is indebted for the inauguration of the policy which 
has resulted in her present empire. He had Berved as a soldier 
for t<ii years in three different kingdoms, and to his couns< 1- 
turned the intrepid Elizabeth when the British Channel was 
darkened with the great Armada and danger had become supreme. 
He won renown at Cadiz and elsewhere as a naval commander. 
He was for years a leading member of the House of Commons. A- 
dlant and courtier, he was equally conspicuous. I !<■ is -till re- 
membered as a poet and wit, who could preside at the Mermaid 
and hold hi> own amid the sallies of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, 
Beaumont, Fletcher, Surry and others, who are yet unsurpassed 
in the annals of revelry. As a man of learning, he was pro- 
foundly respected by Lord Bacon, and when his career seemed 
closed by hi> long imprisonment, he still rose superior to for- 
tune and gained fresh tame in his compilation of a history of 
the world. With such varied endowments was his crowning 


glory of persona] integrity. lie was never false to a friend or 
loi- a moment wavering in his love to the land of hi- birth. 

The -torv of the men who laid tin' earliest foundations of North 
Carolina's existence a- a State i- full of the deepest tragedy. 
Sir Humphrey Gilbert was the first to perish at sea with his 
foundering ship. Sir Walter Raleigh closed hi- uoble career in 
the shameful scene of hi- execution upon Tower llill." His 
cousin, sir Richard Grenville, who several times visited and 
explored our waters, after a hundred triumphs over the Spaniards, 
at last died of hi- wounds in their hand-. Sir Francis Drake, 
another great navigator, who was a friend of the settlement at 
Roanoke Island, sunk with his gallant compeer, Haw kin-, amid 


the horrors of their attack upon the West Indie-. Fifteen men 
left by Sir Richard Grenville at Roanoke were murdered by the 
Indians. Of the unhappy colony of John White, not a trace 
was ever discovered. 

No community has had nobler godfathers than these gallant 
but unfortunate men. Christendom, in that wondrous sixteenth 
century, was stirred by the recital of their deeds, and they are 
still famous in the world's records. Sir Walter Raleiffb was a 
statesman in the noblest sense of the word. If he plundered 
the Spaniards, he did so because he knew the wily Philip was 
slowly maturing plans for the destruction of all that he held 
dear. Not one of the great men in the stately court of Eliza- 
beth surpassed him in ability or in the splendor of his presence. 

Raleigh, upon his return from the civil wars in France, began 
the undertaking as to colonization, in which he Mas to persist as 
long as he lived. Speculation is staggered when the attempt i- 
made to trace the effects flowing from this single scheme of one 
great mind. Longer delay might easily have resulted in the 
complete exclusion of British settlements from all the American 

Spain had already laid claim to the whole continent and had 
forbidden the intrusion of all other nations. This was n<> 
empty menace. It then appeared that the land of Charles Y. 
could make good her decrees against a world inarms. Her 
empire exceeded in area that of Rome when under the sway of 
the Antonines. She had vast armies whose infantry was as ter- 
rible in battle as had been fifteen centuries earlier those uncon- 
querable legions with which the first of the Caesars had mastered 
the world. Her fleets were every where abroad in the waters not 
sacred by Papal decree to the dominion of Portugal. English 
navigation had been confined to the narrow seas encompassing 
the small islands in which Queen Elizabeth held her .-way. Sir 
Walter Raleigh, backed only by the slender resources of Ins 
private fortune, resolved upon the work which was to become 
the corner-stone of his fame. He ventured out upon the re- 
morseless waves which had so recently engulfed his brother ami 


were bo full of horror to English navigators He was nut only 
to encounter danger al the hands of the red man, but ti> lie in 
constant fear of capture from the pervading, jealous and 
truculent Spaniards. Had he fallen when battling for the 
Protestanl cause in France, England might -till have escaped 
the dangers by which she was so thickly environed. In insular 
security she mighl have baffled the conjoined schemes of kings 
ami priests, bul we may well doubt that she would have entered 
upon the policy which has girdled the globe with her possessions 
and lifted the human race into new spheres of thought and action. 
The errand doctrines now known ami honored of all tin world 
were being slowly formulated by her statesmen and philosophers, 
but were shorn of ;i proper sanction in the fact of her inferiority 
in the -eale of nations. Earl Beaconsfield may now dictate the 
changes t<> he made in the map of Europe and make the Cabinet 
of St. James arbiters of Eastern reform, but good Lord Burleigh 
and his great sovereign could do no such things. They had no 

DO O « 

resistless fleets in the Dardanelles and elsewhere, and they were 
also wanting in the prestige and reverence since achieved by tin 
English in their lavish expenditure of blood and treasure to up- 
hold what they have thought redounded to their own and the 
world's peace and happiness. To England and her American 
colonies mankind areindebted lor whatever of popular liberty 
i~ now abroad in the world. When the expedition that came to 
our coasts in 1584 was being fitted out, not only was civil and 
religious liberty waging a doubtful battle for life in France, Ger- 
many and the Low Countries, hut schemes were maturing in the 
< latholic court- of nil Europe for the dethronement of Elizabeth 
and the extirpation of the faith she was so nobly striving to 
uphold. The air was thick with plot- for her assassination, and 
in the far-off recesses of the Escurial even the torpid soul of 
Philip II. took lire at the thought of her swiftly approaching 
danger. The first William of Orange had fallen in his nobl< 
defence of the Dutch. Sir Philip Sydney had died in the same 
cause, [n view of the Armada, then being built at Cadiz, it 
was doubtful whether the proud land of the Edwards and I lenry 


V. could possibly maintain her integrity. Liberty and civiliza- 
tion trembled in the balance, for the huge spectre of Spanish 
supremacy overshadowed the world. At such a time — sixteen 
years before the creation of the East India Company — in the 
year of our Lord 1583, Sir Walter Raleigh obtained the patent 
that led to the first English colonization in America. 

That Raleigh, in the plenitude of his misfortunes fell short of 
complete success in his high ambition of becoming the founder 
of a new empire, does not detract from the real glory of his ser- 
vice or our obligation to remember and reverence his name. If 
broken by disaster and hounded to death by Lord Coke and his 
recreant king, he left to other men and after ages the completion 
of the work he had so bravely inaugurated, it but adds pity to 
his meed of admiration. He, it was, in the dispensation of 
Providence, who discovered the land we inhabit. Like Colum- 
bus, inferior successors were to change the name of the realm he 
had won, and like the great Genoese his services were rewarded 
with ignominy and punishment. 

Carolina and Virginia were the fruits of English patriotism 
and adventure. No discomfort at home sent abroad the bold 
men who first came to Roanoke and Jamestown. They were 
neither soured by religious persecution nor yet hostile to a reign- 
ing family. They emigrated in all loyalty and submission to 
enlarge in another hemisphere, the power and glory of the land 
they still loved though no longer their home. When King 
Charles made the second grant of the territory of North Caro- 
lina, it was in the main occupied by three tribes of Indian-. 
The Tuscaroras, a branch of the great Iroquois stock was spread 
over most of the eastern portion. The ( latawbas in the middle. 
while the Cherokees occupied the west, and what is now called 
East Tennessee. A tribe of Algonquins, called the < Jorees, lived 
south of the Neuse River upon the seacoast. In the east were 
minor tribes: the Chowans, the Meherrins and the Nottoways; 

These people so imperfectly occupied the land, that frequent 
and great changes occurred in their habitat- without exciting 
much observation or hostility. The Meherrins and Nottowavs 


are >:\\i\ to have been the remnants of the unci' powerful domin- 
ion of King Powhatan and were known in his day as the Susque- 
hanoes. Doubtless -nine of our feeblest States at present con- 
tain larger populations than that <»(' the Indians in the whole limit 
of the Union two centuries ago. Forty million of civilized men 
with their teeming fields replace ili«' few untutored hunters. 
Great cities occupy their ancient camping grounds. Railroads 
and steamships are substituted for their toilsome marches and 
frail eannes. Let sentimentalists weep over the late of such 
a people, hut earth is not wide enough for the folly of such a 

North Carolina has never reverenced the memory of the 
nobles who, in liii>.">, l>y the spendthrift bounty of Charles II.. 
became the titular lord- of the land we inhabit. Avarice and 
selfish advancement had led them to importune the king for a 
grant of the soil already in part occupied by bolder and better 
men. The olden chivalry and devotion which had rendered 
England so triumphant in Elizabeth's reign and in the time of 
Cromwell had been replaced by the frivolty of a race of mere 
wits and time-servers. The history of no great people has been 
more sadly marred than that of England in the shameful period 
which elapsed between the death of the wise Protector and the 
accession of William and Mary in 1688. Base and incompetent 
men shared with the painted bawds, in directing the feeble 
counsels of the unhappy Stuart-. They who had tasted all the 
bitterness of exile and knew by sad experience the danger of 
misrule, could yet find no higher occupation than continuous 
dalliance with priests and courtesans. 

The Lords Proprietor- from the beginning found how vain 

was the effort t introl the views and habits of men who were 

strangers to their vices and who had abandoned their English 
homes for the larger measure of liberty promised in the wilds 
of America. The uniform testimony of all English Governors 
of North Carolina was, that our people were bent upon follow- 
ing their own views a- to the nature of their civil government 
and religion. With the single exceptu f Gabriel Johnston, 


there were ever discord and (•(intention between the House of 
Assembly and those who, as the representatives of obtrusiv< 
foreign rule, sought to unduly control men who had resolved to 
be free. The struggle but increased with the lapse of time. 
In Governor Dobbs' day it Mas over the personnel and jurisdic- 
tion of the courts. Under Tryon the sense of wrung deepened 
into armed resistance and bloodshed at Alamance. Unhappy 
Josiah Martin but witnessed the end which Cornelius Harnetl 
had seen slowly approaching for a half century past. 

North Carolina has ever been slow to change her convictions. 
Her people have been uniformly loyal to what they held ;i- tin 
truth. Blandishments, threats and bloodshed have been un- 
availing to disturb that patient and abiding determination which 
has all along marked her course in public affairs. This noble 
and resolute purpose of deliberation has made the State a fre- 
quent mark for the witlings of other commonwealths. While 
all have been free to confess that she was loyal and true, yet men 
are found who complain that she is slow in her movements and 
call her the "Rip Van Winkle of States/' Wecausmileal tin 
imputation and pardon all the sallies of impatient rashness. A 
people who love justice and mercy and who have been :it all 
times of their history willing to die in defence of their liberties 
can with all propriety be careful in departing from thing- which 
have been sanctioned by the wisdom and experience of tin- 
past. In the centuries behind us a singular devotion to truth 
and equity has ever marked and ennobled our annals. \\ hat 
America has been to Europe North Carolina has ever been 
to America. No Roger Williams has at any time been driven 
from our midst to seek in deeper wilds the privileges our 
bigotry was too narrow to afford here. No moral epidemic of 
frenzy has shed the blood of our people on the paltry excuse of 
supernatural practices. We have luid no Sir William Berkleys 
or Cotton Mathers to scourge and imprison the unhappy Bap- 
tists and Quakers who failed of compliance with what bigotn 
was pleased to term orthodoxy. 

No language can express the pride which should fill the souls 


, of tlii- generation for the simplicity and fortitude of their pre- 
decessors who for two centuries have dwelt in and immortalized 
our State This people have been very quiet and -Km to anger, 
but multitudes yet remember the great host of soldiers so re- 
cently sent out to uphold what North Carolina believed was 
right and proper. It will never be forgotten how undauntedly 
her troops used to descend to the harvest of death. In all 

those years when victories ca SO full and fast, upon each 

of those stricken fields wherever heroes lay thickest, there out- 
numbering those of any dther State, were always to be found 
the mangled forms of our own North Carolina dead. It would 
be safe to assert that there was scarcely a conflict in all those 
year- that was cot illustrated by the obedience and valor of our 
t rod j is. 

Not in arms alone has our Commonwealth grown illustrious. 
The genius and spirit of her sons have made her as majestic in 
counsel as she has been effective in the field, and vet the Hot- 
spurs would call her slow. Alas, how easy it i- for haste, con- 
ceit and improvidence to utter this poor criticism on the move- 
ments of true wisdom. North Carolina was never slow when 
upon celerity of movement depended the vindication of her 
honor. She has never paused to take counsel of her fears 
when danger was near. In all her history her conduct has been 
ju>t the reverse. The first blood shed in America to resist Brit- 
ish tyranny was at the battle of Alamance. Six years earlier. 
John Ashe, Speaker of the Assembly, had headed the people in 
armed resistance to the issuing of the government stamps. The 
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 20th, 177"), 
was far from being slow, as was the determination of the Pro- 
vincial Congress at Halifax, April 13th, 1776. Whatever may 
have been her deliberation in 1861, the first Confederate blood 
shed was that of a North Carolinian, when at Big Bethel her 
troops met the first Federal advance. 

North Carolina was never slow but in that weighty delibera- 
tion which is often the evidence of highest wisdom. She i> very 
-low to forgel her compacts and was never swift to recall her 


plighted faith. She can nobly bear with the haste and impru- 
dence of sister common wealths, but it is to be hoped will ever 
<top to ponder and conciliate before hope has fled and delay 
ceased to be a virtue. It is not to be denied that she has ever 
manifested a proper appreciation of the blessings she has en- 
joyed. She has been very slow to destroy institutions sanctified 
by the prayers, labors and blood of her long-buried and illus- 
trious dead. Haste and passion in others have often pained our 
people, but have never disturbed their determination to effect by 
reason and comity that which becomes impossible in the brutal 
arbitrament of arms. No ruined States, like avenging Banquos, 
can point to the folly of North Carolina as the source of their 
misfortunes. She has gone on her way as stately in counsel as 
intrepid in action. Others are loud and boastful while danger 
is yet afar ; the Old North State becomes sublime when her 
heavens are overcast and exulting foes are trampling her pros- 
trate form. She never cried craven when Lord Cornwall is was in 
her high places, nor have the agony, blood and ruin of later years 
driven her to dishonor or taken from her keeping the lofty boon 
of self-respect. 

Ours was among the last of the States, in 1861, to leave her 
ancient moorings. With bitter regret at the disruption of the 
Union she had helped to form, she would not go while there was 
hope of compromise. Her people loved peace and were sad- 
dened to think that ruin miffht come to that fair fabric of liberty. 
There is no more mournful spectacle in all the past than that of 
North Carolina thus forced into armed self-vindication. At her 
word a hundred and twenty thousand of her sons went to the 
fields where danger was direst and death held highest carnival. 
How long they stood the bulwark of the South, let those great 
A T irginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania cemeteries open their 
crowded bosoms and disclose. 

The spectacle of North Carolina in the recent war wa- the 

height of moral sublimity. In all the heat and stress of that 

great conflict, in victory as well as in defeat, when the enemy 

was afar off and when the hordes were in all our border-, law 



and order were still preserved in our midst. Never in all the 
struggle was tbe safe-guard of liberty, the sacred writ of habeas 
oorpu8, for a moment suspended. I fader the guidance of chosen 
leaders the dreadful cup was drained to its foulest and bitterest 

dregs, and still the civil and military commanders were amen- 
able to tin' legal demands of the humblest man in the State. 

The record of glory ends not here. When through sheer ex- 
haustion the sword fell (Vom North Carolina's grasp, and she 
lia«l given up the hopeless struggle, to make a new covenant of 
faith and obedience to the conquerors, the day of the State's 
real trial had hut commenced. If our people had sorrowed in 
the slaughter of friend- and ruin of homesteads, how shall l» 
pictured their patience in the humiliation of succeeding years. 
North Carolina was called upon to uproot every land-mark and 
to remove almost the last badge of her character a- a State. 
Strangers swarmed into our borders, and with the ignorant and 
incapable race so lately in servitude were put in control of the 
Commonwealth's fortunes. Peace had 1 teen proclaimed for the 
nation, hut fresh dishonors were to he concerted against thoa 
Southern men who yet clung to their manhood. Not content 
with the cruel legislation of 1868, when there was no sign of 
rebellion or resistance to authority, suddenly an army was raised 
in the State and many of it- leading citizens immured in reeking 
dungeons. That legal redress which had not for a moment 
slept in all the years of real war. was refused, and from the 
highest judicial officer came the startling announcement, "The 
judiciary has been exhausted!" It will never cease to be re- 
membered how a great State thus sorely tormented was delivered 
!iv the bravery and fidelity of a single one of her sons. 

> • ■ ■ 

In three leading periods of American history North Carolina 
ha- held an important part. Upon her shores was the fi^st effort 
at English colonization. She was the first of the provinces to 
lift her voice for separation from the mother country. In those 
trying years which followed successful revolution, she did all 
that patriotism, wisdom and liberality could accomplish in solidi- 
fying the structure of a free and untried system of national 


life. Her gift of the Tennessee territory was the precursor of 
similar bounties from other States, without any such savins as 
their Western reserves. The wisdom of her action in 1788 was 
largely effective in procuring the recognition of State rights em- 
bodied in the first ten amendments of the Federal Constitution. 
She has uniformly most sternly resisted the unchartered aggres- 
sions of a growing disposition to centralize the American Gov- 
ernment, find yet by her example at the same time relinked the 
factious course of other States in an undue assertion of the doc- 
trine of reserved rights. Peace, moderation and unselfish de- 
votion to the general good have illustrated and ennobled her 
history. She has never been clamorous for notice, and has been 
slow to resent frequent injuries experienced in the neglect of 
those who have dispensed the general patronage and pretended 
to tell the story of American growth. Like Lord Bacon, she 
leaves to posterity and the after ages the perpetuation of her 
claim to consideration among men. 

North Carolina has not been free from efforts to secure class 
legislation. Capital and blood here, as elswhere, have not re- 
mitted their struggles for privilege. Governor Samuel John- 
ston was the leader of those who even in the Revolution soughl 
to frame a system which should put the control of affairs in the 
hands of a select few rather than in those of the less favored 
masses. Richard Caswell and Willie Jones then, as eleven year- 
later, defeated the scheme of the Federalists. With the lap-. 
of a decade, the lesson taught in the ten amendments of the 
United States Constitution seemed apparently forgotten when 
John Adams and his dominant supporters enacted the "Alien and 
Sedition Laws." North Carolina at once passed to the assistance 
of Thomas Jefferson in bringing back the government to a 
proper respect for the limit of its powers. If in the long debate 
touching the United States Bank and Protective Tariffs our 
State went into temporary eclipse, -he eventually condemned 
both of these measures as destructive of popular right-. She 
has been unmistakably opposed to the new theories of govern- 
ment illustrated in the conduct of Federal affairs -inc.' the war. 


The dismantling of Southern States, frequent military interfer- 
ence in elections and the whole system of bans, penalties and 
other reconstruction measures have excited her profound disgusl 
and unremitting condemnation. She has seen with equal sorrow 
and apprehension the government pass into the control of a 
great monied monopoly, infinitely more powerful and dangerous 
than that corporation denounced and destroyed by Andrew 
Jackson. Under the plea of benefit to the national credit, con- 
tinual repression has been visited upon even- interest but those 
of the holders of United States bonds. This course has resulted 
in the destruction of our foreign commerce, in the prostration of 

I e trade, and in a pervading and yet increasing bankruptcy 

of* the people. 

The great lessons taught by Mr. Jefferson and his compeers 
have ever been distasteful to many men of America. Thev are 
a continual rebuke to the pride and selfishness of those who in 
personal ambition forgot the general good. The interests of the 
people are not those of money king- and military adventurers. 
The empty pageants of loyalty have long been so distasteful to 
our people, that the possibility of an American king is far less 
to be dreaded than the erection of a dominant and heartless 
aristocracy. Wealth and privilege are the dangers of the Ameri- 
can system. Cunning and powerful factions are continually 
seeking the mean- of controlling the gnat body of Lhe people. 
It was in view of this danger that the sage of Nfonticello de- 
clared that "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance." That 
ancient vigilance which lias resisted civil and religious oppres- 
sion in all ages of which history contain- record of the An-do- 
Saxon race, will, it may well be hoped, still assert itself against 
tin- designs of American intriguers. The people who have done 
-o much for human advancement may be safely trusted with the 
preservation of the glories peculiar to themselves. The Ark of 
the ( ovenant wa- no more the special charge of the ancient Jews 
than are the vindication and transmission of the heritage we 
have received. 

To North Carolina and her Southern consorts we may confi- 


dently look to struggle for this end. Under God by their 

efforts has the Federal Constitution been preserved so far. There 
has been no time in our history since 1789 when Northern 
majorities in and out of Congress have not disregarded its 
injunctions. Southern faith and honor have continually pleaded 
and remonstrated for its preservation. A valorous and knightly 
devotion to the great works of our fathers has in deliberation 
and on bloody fields protested against the weak and wicked 
designs of men, who have forgotten in self their dutv to 
the human race. Like Lord Macaulay, in his letter to Josiah 
Randall, these croakers arc ever sneering at what they call 
the weakness of our system. They would rob millions of 
great franchises to give more security and power to capital. 
Human souls and the happiness of all are of less account than 
a few already too-powerful citizens. Free America, they say. 
must abdicate in favor of the money kings. This struggle has 

* O DO 

lasted for a century past and the people have lost vantage ground 
in the last twenty years, but are fast recovering from that which a 
great war alone brought upon them. We may rest confident 
that the nation will be true to its traditions and that a >\\\\ 
higher civilization and happiness are yet in store for North ( laro- 
lina and her consorts. 



A. I). 1584 TO 1590. 

Ancient denizens of North Carolina — Indian habits and customs — Their piv- 
ernment and religion — Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtains his first American 
patent — His death in 1583 — Sir Walter Raleigh repeats the venture tin- 
next year — Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe sail on a voyage of dis- 
covery — They reach the "West Indies and sail northward — They reach the 
coast of Carolina and finally Trinity Harbor — They meet Indians — Gran- 
ganimeo visits them — Names of the land divisions around Roanoke — Re- 
turn of the explorers — Sir Richard Grenville the next year sail- with emi- 
grants — Governor Lane and his associates — Explorations and trouble with 
the Indians — Sir Francis Drake arrives with a fleet — Return of the colony 
to England — John White and the second colony — Virginia Dare and the 
mysterious disappearance of the settlers — Sir Walter Raleigh. 

Ill the year 1584 there had been no white man seen in what 
is now the State of North Carolina. Through all its borders 
the different tribes of aboriginal Indians moved undisturbed but 
by their own often recurring hostilities. A few villages with 
their insignificant fields of corn were to be found at rare inter- 
vals in the pervading forest, a few canoes skimmed over the 
wide waters of the sounds and rivers ; but solitude and silence were 
over the land. The buffalo, elk, black bear, deer and turkeys 
swarmed upon the hills, while countless wild fowls and fishes 
were to be found in the waters. Fruits and flowers were on 
every side, and over all, the mocking birds in their delirium of 
joy were making the enchanting scene vocal with their melodic-. 

But this paradise of untutored nature had many drawbacks. 
Aboriginal life in America was one of constant peril and watch- 
ing. If "eternal vigilance i> the price of liberty" in civilized 
States, the bare privilege of existence was only to be achieved 
by the unhappy Indians in sleepless caution and avoidance tA' 


those regions never visited bul on the war-path. In this way 
the fair territory we now inhabil was three centuries ago, for the 
most part, the undisputed paradise of the wild beasts. Gov- 
ernor Lane, in his voyage up the Chowan River, made no men- 
tion of having seen Indians west of the river. The waters of 
the Albemarle country then teemed with countless fishes. They 
were the principal source of subsistence to the savages, who with 
their rude canoes and weirs found easy living the year round. 
This occupation, with their military expeditions and the pursuit 
of game in the forest, formed the only employment of the Indian 
men. Their hapless women were condemned to all the drudgery 
of cultivating and preparing for food the corn, upon which was 
their main reliance for bread. They possessed no knowledge as 
to working metals and used fire to burn down the fores! to effect 
clearings of their small fields. Their farming utensil- were all 
of wood. When they wished to boil their food, water was put 
into a wooden vessel and the temperature raised by the intro- 
duction of heated stones. In planting maize they began by 
making a hole in one corner of the plot, wherein they placed 
four grains of corn an inch apart and then covered with mould. 
From this starting point rows were laid off so that the hill- 
should he a yard apart each way. They used fertilizers of no 
hind, hut depended upon the natural richness of the soil.* 

In their government the Indians were wont to mingle mon- 
aivhial and aristocratic principles. Every tribe had its chief, tie' 
measure of whose power varied with the development of valor 
and intelligence of the incumbent. The headship of the tribe 
was as often elective as hereditary, and no fixed rule seems to 
have obtained except that flood and descenl should he recom- 
mendations, l»ut not prerequisites in supplying the places of' loaf 
leader-. They lived in villages for mutual protection, hut had 
no large cities because of the impossibility of subsisting a multi- 
tude at any one given point."! They had no domestic animals 

I [ariofe Narrative, i-.i_:<- I -. 

II:;- Narrative, | .. ■ 


but dogs, and were utterly wanting in commerce. An Indian 
town, Chowanoke, which stood on the cast hank of the Chowan 
just below the mouth of Bennett's creek, was large enough to 
send seven hundred braves to battle. But this was an unusual 
number, and was one of the few points of permanent residence 
of a capricious and aomadic race. The Indians were generally 
known as the red men, from their copper complexion. They 
were tall, active and graceful. Though nearly all of them were 
athletes, they were incapable of long continued toil. They had 
regular features. Their eyes and long, straight hair were black, 
and thev were remarkable for their high cheeks and scanty 
beards. With their stone axes they hacked down the trees they 
were further assisted by fire to shape for use. In his armory 
the greatest chief could but exhibit as weapons bows and arrows, 
spears, clubs, tomahawks and scalping knives. Their best houses 
were rude tents fashioned of skins or the bark of trees. Some 
of their more fortunate rich men possessed cooking utensils of 
stone or coarse pottery, but their food, both- as to quality and 
preparation, was unsavory and disgusting to all foreign tastes. 

The Indians universally believed in the existence of a Supreme 
God whom thev called the Great Spirit. A good man, in their 
estimation, was one who slaughtered and scalped every intruder 
upon his hunting grounds, and avenged upon the individuals of 
his own tribe the various fanciful causes of retributive bloodshed. 
They bought their brides like some article of commerce,* and 
slew without remorse, their aged kinsmen who were so un- 
fortunate as to retard a march or give trouble in their support. 
Their priests or medicine men were princes among charlatan-. 
and have not been surpassed in falsehood and effrontery by the 
kindred spirits of any creed. f Amid ceaseless wars, wholesale 
massacres of unsuspecting villages and lives of unremitting terror 
and vigilance, lived and died this unhappy race to whose mis- 
fortunes the crowning disaster was soon to lie added. There 

"•'"Bancroft, vol. Ill, page 261 
f Adair, page 85. 


was a wide-spread belief and tradition among them thai pale- 
faced men from lands beyond the sea would come in the course 
of time and effect great changes in their condition. This mys- 
terious premonition was soon to be realized. 

Sir Humphrey Gilbert had obtained a patent from Queen 
Elizabeth in 1578 "to undertake the discovery of the northern 
parts of America." The next year, with his half-brother, 
Walter Raleigh aiding him, he fitted out an expedition which 
was driven back. His patent was about to expire iD 1583, when 
with three vessels he -ailed upon his first voyage. He took 
possession of Newfoundland, but losing one of his fleet off thi 
coast of Maine, he turned his prows for the homeward voyage. 
A furious storm overtook and drove them amid the floating ice- 
bergs. In that night of darkness and horror, Sir Humphrey, 
from the little ship Squirrel, cheered the men of her consort, 
saying, "Courage, my lads, we are as near heaven on sea as on 
land." Alxnit mid-night, September 9th, the lights of his -hip 
disappeared and the Hind alone of the fleet survived to hear the 
mournful intelligence to England. Sir Humphrey did not equal 
his brother in the variety and brilliance <>t' his gifts, but like 
him was bold, fearless and loyal in his nature. 

Sir Walter Raleigh, though saddened by the loss of his kin- 
man, did not relax his efforts at discovery ami colonization. 
Queee Elizabeth granted him a new patent in 1584. In April 
of that year he fitted out two .-hips in England, and having 
assigned them to the command of Philip Amida- and Arthur 
Barlow, the little fleet set out to encounter the dangers and un- 
certainty of the unknown seas they were ordered to explore. 

Having left England April 27th, they reached the Canaries 

on the loth of the next month.* A month later the\ had crossed 

the Atlantic Ocean and reached the West Indies. Having pro- 
cured fresh supplies of provisions and water, they sailed north- 
wind, and on the 1 1th of .Inly approached the coast of what i- 

now North Carolina. While still at sea, tiny were regaled with 
\nii<l:i-' Narrative. 


delicious odors borne by the breeze from the shore. The long 

and barren points of land which still afford such a barrier to all 
marine approaches to North Carolina prevented the landing of 
the expedition until they had swept northward one hundred and 
twenty miles. On July 16th, by our present style, or the 1th, ac- 
cording to the old calendar, they came to anchor in what they called 
Trinity Harbor, which was an inlet nearly opposite Roanoke 
Island. After remaining- two days and seeing no inhabitants of 
the country, on the third day they saw a canoe in which were 
three Indians approaching from the north. One of them landed 
and came down the beach in the direction of the ships. He wa.- 
met by the officers on the shore and with his own consent con- 
veyed to the ships, where he received presents of food and cloth- 
ing. Having returned to his canoe he pushed out into the 
strait and commenced fishing. In a half hour he had loaded 
his boat and then dividing the fish into two portions, he signs 
that each ship should take its proportion. Having discharged 
this friendly office he took his departure.* 

On the next day many Indian boats arrived. In one of them 
came Granganimeo, the brother of Wingina, an Indian king 
who ruled the surrounding territory. A native benevolence and 
dignity were evident in all the movements of the untutored 
and friendly savage. He expressed by signs hi- good will to 
the strangers and the fact that the king had been recently 
wounded in battle. Within a few days Granganimeo, accompa- 
nied by his wife and children, repeated his visit, and the inter- 
course of the English visitors and the aborigines was full of' 
friendly offices on both sides. The explorers found that the 
territory north of the Albemarle Sound was called by the In- 
dians Weapemoe, that to the south Secotan, while that which 
lav between the Chowan and Roanoke Rivers was known as 

Chowan oke.f 

Sir Walter Raleigh had not intended that this expedition 

*Hawks, vol. I, page 77. 
fHariot's Narrative. 


sl Id attempt settlements. The fleel therefore soon sailed for 

home and reached England in the middle of September, carry- 
ing with it two of thenatives, Manteo and Wanchese, who had 
agreed thus to extend their knowledge of the world. They 
were brought back the next year with very different sentiments 
filling their bosoms. Manteo became the life-long friend of the 
white people, while his comrade grew as conspicuous for bis deep 
and implacable hatred. 

On the 9th day of April, 1585, Sir Richard Grenville, oneof 
the bravest and best of all the famous admirals of that age, 
sailed with a fleet from the English city of Plymouth. He 
brought with him one hundred and eight colonists. They reached 
our coast on the 26th of June. 

Ocracoke was then called Wbkoken. Through that inlet, 
with their smaller vessels, they reached Roanoke Island. Sir 
Richard spent some time in exploring the adjacent shores and 
waters, and so long as he lived, continued to evince a lively in- 
terest in theaflairsof the settlement which had been first inau- 
gurated by his kinsman, Sir Walter Raleigh. Grenville was 
one of those famous men who in that age so greatly extended 
the naval renown of England. lie lived long enough to revisit 
our shore, hut a few years afterward-, being surprised by a Span- 
ish fleet oear the Azores [slands, after a Ion- and almost incredible 
contest with superior force, he was captured and died of his 

Wound- the next da\ 

Ralph Lane, who came out a- the Governor of the colony, 
was an English gentleman of considerable cultivation. Some 
historians have sneered at his want of endurance and have as- 
serted that he too readily abandoned a posl of danger; but upon 
a fair consideration of all the circumstances, it i- not probable 
that Raleigh erred in bis estimate of the fitness of the chief 
agent in hi.- great undertaking. 

Philip Amidas was second in command and admiral of the 

Hawks, vol. I. 


colony. He was the companion of Barlow when they, the 
year before, made discovery of the country. 

The next in rank was Thomas Hariot, afterwards famous in 
Europe as a mathematician and a man of letters. 

Thomas Cavendish was alsoof the party, who afterwards won 
renown in circumnavigating the globe and in sea-fights with the 
Spaniards. From the fact that Columbus had discovered 
America in the service of that people, they laid claim to the 
whole mighty hemisphere. The Englishmen of that day were 
not of a temper to tamely submit to such a claim, so wherever 
their ships met there was generally battle and bloodshed. 

After Governor Lane had constructed such defences upon 
Roanoke Island as suited him, he proceeded in open boats to ex- 
plore the shore of Albemarle Sound. He came up Chowan 
River as far as Winton, (for in Lane's Journal it is stated that 
their progress was stopped just below the junction of the M< - 
herrin and Nottoway Rivers.) The great Indian town Chowan- 
oke is mentioned as being on the eastern bank of the Chowan 

It is more than probable that Bertie Peninsula was not at that 
day occupied by Indians at all. The Meherrins who were found 
in Manney's Neck a century later, were, at the time of Lane's 
visit, living north of James River. No mention is made of 
adventures of any kind in the Chowan River, but when they 
had ascended the Roanoke for four days, a night attack by the 
Tuscaroras, who lived upon its banks, forced Governor Lane to 
give up his search for the gold which was said to abound in its 
upper waters. This was the first instance in our borders of the 
red man's hostility to English encroachments, and was the result 
of wiles on the part of an Indian chief known as Wingina. 
This man lived upon the main land fronting Roanoke Island, 
and most probably had become incensed at the punishment of 
one of his tribe by Sir Richard Grenville, for the stealing of a 
silver cup. Evidences of Wingina's hostility increased until 
Governor Lane, discovering a plot to assail him on Roanoke 


[sland, seized the Indian king and eighl of bis head men and 
j hi t them tn dentil.* 

Lane had already incurred the hostility of the powerful Tus- 
caroras l>v his eight conflicl on the banks of the Roanoke, and 


qow was added the deadly enmity of a kindred tribe. He was 
without ships, and had for months past been sorely puzzled t«> 
timl sustenance for his men His situation, indeed, in every 
respect, was full of danger, when Sir Francis Drake, with an 
English fleet, came to anchor off the coast. The Governor en- 
deavored to procure a ship and supplies and Drake was willing 
to grant them, bul for the occurrence of a storm that drove them 
tn Bea with the ship intended for the colonists. After consulta- 
tion with the admiral and his own council, Lane thought it best 
to return to England. If he was hasty in doing so, Francis 
Drake — than whom there was no braver man in the world — was 
deceived in affording him transportation^ 

Shortly thereafter, Sir Richard Grenville arrived with sup- 
plies for the colony. He left fifteen men and -ailed mi hi- usual 
search for the Spaniards. 

Governor Lain'- abandonment of Roanoke could not deter 
Sir Walter Raleigh from further efforts at colonization. In 
1587, John White, with one hundred and seventeen men, women 
and children, sailed from Portsmouth with orders to seek ( !hesa- 
peake Lay. and there found a colony. The fleet, after narrowly 
escaping destruction off Cape Fear, in the month <>f Jul) cam< 
tn anchor at Trinity Harbor, and in disobedience of positive 
commands, resumed the occupation of Roanoke [sland. The 
men left by Sir Richard Grenville two years before had all dis- 
appeared, w ith tin memorial of their fate save a single skeleton. 
The Indian- had doubtless murdered them and the tale told of 
their removal was only to avoid English vengeance. 

If Ralph Lane was hasty in bis abandonment of the settle- 
ment, he was still careful to remove the people in hi- charge 

Lane's Journal. 
Ml iwkg, v. I. t. 


from the danger <>f fcheir position. John White, in his whole 
conduct, exhibited an astonishing indifference to the fate of the 
colony. Though his daughter was one of the number, he re- 
mained only six weeks on Roanoke and sailed back to England 
on the plea of procuring assistance. Yet when such was the 
urgency, he was to remain abroad for three years before he could 
get the better of his desire to share in the plunder of Spanish 

Manteo, one of the two Indians that had been carried to 
England, sought to enlist the aid and sympathy of his people, 
who dwelt upon Croatan, but failed in his mission. He was 
warmly attached to the white people, while his companion. 
Wanchese, upon his return, ever manifested aversion and hos- 
tility to the English. His visit to Great Britain had failed to 
produce the desired effect, and it was probably due to his efforts 
that so complete a change was effected in the disposition of the 
tribes surrounding the hapless city of -Raleigh, as the settlement 
on Roanoke Island was termed. 

On August 13th, 1587, Manteo was baptised and then made 
the Lord of Roanoke. Five days later, Eleanor, the daughter 
of Governor White and wife of Ananias Dare, gave birth to a 
girl, who was named Virginia and was the first born of all the 
English-speaking millions since claiming America as the place 
of their nativity.* The young mother and her baby were to 
vanish from the knowledge of the world in the same manner, 
with the unfortunates left by Admiral Grenville. 

When White reached England he found the nation in mo- 
mentary expectation of Spanish invasion. f The Invincible Ar- 
mada was ordered to leave Cadiz and carry across the British 
Channel the matchless veterans of Alexander Farnese, the Prince 
of Parma. Raleigh furnished White with two ships, but lie 
lingered to take part in the struggle, and when the mighty 
Spanish Meet had been wasted by English heroism, and destruc- 

*Havvks, vol. I, page 286. 
fMartin, vol. I, page 33. 


tive storms, he -ailed back into harbor to repair the damages in- 
flicted by the enemy's artillery. Thus March 20th, L590, 

• • » 

had come before the man who was in such a hurry to reach 
England in search of relief for hi- colony, :it length -ailed hack 
i" A 1 1 M-ri« ;i . He reached Trinity Harbor in the succeeding 
Ajigust. It had been agreed upon before his departure that if 
the colony should be compelled to remove, the came of the 
place to which tiny should be transferred would be carved on a 
tree. Governor White found "Croatan" «-ut deeply into a tree 
and the letters "Cro" also on a high post set up on the -it'- of 
the village. It had been further agreed that if the colonists 
should leave Roanoke in distress, that a cross was to be carved 
above the locality of their new residence. No such token of 
distress was seen. Croatan was not above fifty mile.- from where 

he st I surveying this uncertain record of the fate of his 

people; yet John White, on the plea of storms and scarcity of 
provisions, sailed for the West Indie-, passing in plain view of 
Croatan, where he had reason to believe were the people com- 
mitted to his keeping. Fr the West Indies he went hack to 

England and left his own flesh and blood to vanish from all 
human view.f 

Sir Walter Raleigh had wasted full forty thousand pounds 
sterling in futile attempt- to found a colony. This sum was 
equivalent to a million dollars at present. This loss greatly im- 
paired his fortune. The timidity of some and incompetence of 
others of his agents had balked him in a high and princely enter- 
prise. II<' turned hi- attention to Smith America and on the 
coast of Guiana attempted a lodgment which might lead him to 
the discovery of EI Dorado, that mythical fountain of rejuve- 
nation, which so strangely affected the wisest men of that great 
lie wa- -o unfortunate a- to incur the Queen's displeasure 
in the matter of his marriage and only by strenuous and adroit 
endeavors recovered her esteem, she was to be followed in 

I l.ovks. vol. I, page _ IT 
fMartin, vol. I. i 


offices l>v a king whose weakness and folly were to be in marked 
contrast to the imperious grandeur and wisdom of Elizabeth. 
The great queen, when the danger was direst, could add courage 
to the hearts of heroes, but the ungainly Scotch pedant could 
never in his life see a drawn sword without turning pale at the 
siffht. With the same base subservience that was to disgrace the 
whole Stuart dynasty in their intercourse with foreign courts, 
James I. yielded to the demands of the King- of Spain and 
caused Sir Walter Raleigh to be beheaded on an old charge. 
Sir Edward Coke, then Attorney-General of England, had pro- 
cured his conviction sixteen years before on a false accusation.* 
The English Court was anxious to procure the marriage of 
Prince Charles to a Spanish princess. To compass this purpose 
King James, a- a mark of favor to His Catholic Majesty, ordered 
the execution of the most renowned of all his subjects. The 
House of Stuart merited and received the execrations of man- 
kind for their many crimes and weaknesses, and in the story of 
their misdeeds the foulest of all was the wanton murder of him 
who first sent men and ships to the shores of North Carolina. 

•■Lives of Chief Justices, vol. I, page 223. 




A. I). 1663 TO 1705. 

Grants to sir Robert Heath, Sii Thomas Smith and others— Sir Richard 
Hackluyl The settlement transferred from Roanoke to Jamestown R 
ligious persecution in Virginia and Massachusetts The Puritans drive out 
Roger Williams to Rhode Island- sir William Berkeley, by Bimilar con- 
duct, banishes the Baptists and Quakers from the old Dominion and they 
liml refuge in Albemarle — Roger Greene establishes Ids colony on the 

Chowan and Roanoke G ge Durant and the Yeopim Indians — Charles 

11. grants Carolina to the Lords Proprietors -Governor Drummond assumes 
control "i' Albemarle— 8ir John Yearaans visits clarendon — The Great 
hied of Grant —Grand Assembly of Albemarle — Governor Stephens suc- 
ceeds Drummond — Early legislation — Sir John Yeamans leave-. Claren- 
don — John Locke and the Fundamental ( institutions —i rovernor Berkeley's 
idea- of government \V. Edmundson— Governor Cartwright- War with 
Holland and Kinu Philip I'.aeon's iel>cl I ion and death — Governor Drum- 
mond — The Grand Model breeds trouble— Governor Cartwright abandons 
the government — Governor Eastchurch and Miller — The Governor delays 
h i» coming and Miller gets into trouble — Dnrant, < nllam and ( ulpepper in- 
augurate a rebellion — Eastchurch arrives, but is set at defiance and die- .it' 
vexation — Culpepper's trial in England — John Harvey sent a- President of 

the Council — Succeeded liy Jenkins and Wilkinson — Seth Sothel arrested 

and deposed — Governor Ludwell and Lady France- Berkeley— Thomas 
Harvey and Henderson Walker — Major Alexander Lillington — Governor 
Daniel and the Established Church — Edmund Porter sent with John Ashe 
to England to remonstrate — Colonel Thomas Carey succeeds to the govern- 
ment of Albemarle— His conduct towards the Quakers. 

Not until seventy years, filled with the progress id' ordinary 
centuries, had gone by was the attention of the English Gov- 
ernment turned to the affairs of North Carolina. Sir Walter 
Raleigh, after seeing his fortune, health, liberty and cherished -on 
all losl in his tireless efforts in America, had long slept the sleep 
which knows no waking. The iron vigor and patriotism of the 
Tudor Queen had been replaced l>v the timid and unpopular 
policy of the House of Stuart. An anointed king had been 
led from the palace of his fathers, to expiate in his blood what 
was called hi- treason to his people. Stern Oliver Crom- 
well had lived, reigned, ami passed away. The second Kim: 

1663. SETTLEM ENT OF J A M ESTH >\Y X. I :; 

Charles hail returned from his travels, and under a monarch 
who was reported "as never saying a foolish thing or doing a 
wise one," the successful colonization was effected. Providence 
is sometimes dark in its decrees. That which good Queen Bess 
and the gallant, the generous and the tireless Raleigh had failed 
to accomplish, the profligate Charles Stuart found easy to do. 

There had been fruitless grants to Sir Robert Heath, Colonel 
Beddingfield and others, but the vast territory south of James 
River remained unsettled by white men. In 1607, in the reign 
of King James I., on the 10th of April, the great seal was 
affixed to a fresh grant conveying to Sir Thomas Smith, Sir 
John Somers, Sir Richard Hackluyt, Edward M. Wingfield and 
others who might join them, the territory between the 34th and 
45th degrees of northern latitude, to which Virginia, the name 
given by Sir Walter Raleigh to his discoveries, was transferred. 
Hackluyt was the moving spirit of this new enterprise. He 
was a dignitary of Westminister, and to great learning added 
enthusiasm in promoting discovery and propagation of geo- 
graphical knowledge. The barriers of sand on the North Caro- 
lina coast led the projectors of the new colony to abandon Roan- 
oke Island as the nucleus of settlement. They wisely adopted 
the spacious harbor and safe entrance of Hampton Roads as the 
point of approach from the ocean to the inland waters of 
America. The ships made their entrance April 26th and pro- 
ceeded as far up James River as Jamestown, where they came 
to anchor and established the first permanent English settlement 
in America. Here was the birth-place of North Carolina as 
well as of the Old Dominion. 

In the provinces of Virginia and Massachusetts there was 
early manifested a disposition to repeat in America the harshness 
and injustice which had so long disgraced the civilization of 
Europe. The Baptists and Quakers soon found that human 
nature was the same on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The 
rigid and jealous Puritans banished Roger Williams from their 
midst, while Sir William Berkeley, in a kindred spirit, devised 
disabilities and punishments against the men who did not con- 


form to the Church of England. The ureal hoon of religious 
liberty had led many nun, in it- search, from their European 

I is: again in deeper wilds, in spite of danger and hardship, they 

were t • ► seek what they esteemed sogreal a blessing. North < laro- 
lina was linn beyond the jurisdiction of the petty tyrant who ruled 
at Williamsburg. The tender mercies of the Tuscarora seemed 
preferable to the whippings and brandings practiced in Virginia, 
to prevent non-conformity to the Established Church ; bo in 1653 
Roger ( rreene and his associates settled upon the banks <>t' < Ihowan 
and Roanoke Rivers.* 

Nine years later George Durant, a hard-headed and enter- 
prising Quaker, bought of the chief of the Yeopira Indian-, the 
nick of land in Perquimans county -till bearing his name. In 
lfilio the New Englanders, in that spirit of migration yet so 
predominant among their descendants, made a settlement near 
the month of Cape Fear River, at or about the position of the 
present village of Smithville.f Their stay was brief, however. 
They offended some of the Indian-, it is said, by sending off 
-nine <if their children to Boston as it' for education, when the 
true purpose was to sell them into slavery.! This infamous 
charge has come down from early colonial annals and has been 
continually credited at distant intervals by different bistorians.|| 
The great purpose of this attempted settlement was the rearing 
of cattle. They -em agents to England to secure co-operation, 
but soon abandoned the settlement. The reason- assigned for -o 
doing, were left in a monument erected upon their departure. § 
It i- uncertain at what precise time this occurred. l»ut they were 
certainly -one by the fall of 1 <!<!:;. 

It is evident from a perusal of certain instruction- from parties 
in London to Sir Willi:. m Berkeley, that considerable population 

Irving's State at Large, page 380; Wheeler, vol. 1. page ■-"•'. 
(■Moss' Hist. Col., 3d -erie-. page 56. 
(Lawson, page 65. 

Williamson, pagee 75 6; Hawk-, vol. 11. page 7.".. 

I ,:iu Bon, page 7 I. 
♦•Hawks, vol. 1 1. page '-. 


had come from Virginia and settled in the Albemarle country by 
this time. There were in the Court of King Charles II. favor- 
ites, \\li<» were not inattentive observers of what was transpiring 

in America. The bold and self-sacrificing pioneers had smoothed 
the way for the assumption of fresh dignities and revenues to 
those who had the favor of the "Merry Monarch." So in lfil)."> 
another grant passed the seals creating Edward, Earl of Claren- 
don, George, Dnke of Albemarle, William, Earl of Craven, 
John, Lord Berkely, Anthony, Lord Ashley, Sir George 
Carteret, Sir John Colleton, and Sir William Berkeley, then 
Governor of Virginia, the Lords Proprietors of a new province 
called Carolina in honor of the king. This paper was dated 
March 15th, and conveyed territory of sufficient area for a una! 
empire. The Earl of Clarendon was a great lawyer and states- 
man and like his colleague, Lord Ashley, rose to be Lord Chan- 
cellor. He was an ambitious and grasping man, who lost the 
king's favor in his old age, and left two grand-daughters, who 
became Queens of England. General George Monk was a 
morose, dull, easy-conscieneed officer of Cromwell, and was 
made Duke of Albemarle for the part he took in bringing about 
the king's restoration. Lord Ashley became the famous Earl of 
Shaftsbury, and yet has two lasting monuments to his memory. 
He added the writ of habeas corpus to the constitutional rights 
of all Englishmen and had his portrait drawn in Absalom and 
Achitophel by the master-hand of John Dry den. He was 
talented, intriguing and profligate, and was the greatest dema- 
gogue his famous land has yet produced. Of the other Pro- 
prietors, Sir William Berkeley was the most notable. He i- 
immortal for conjoined bigotry and cruelty. "That old fool," 
remarked the witty king, concerning Paeon's rebellion, "has 
taken more lives in that naked country without offence than I 
have in all England for the murder of my father." 

William Drummond, a Scotch settler in Virginia, was created 
by Sir William Berkeley Governor of Carolina. lie was a 
man of prudence and fidelity, and proved acceptable to the 


people he was sent to govern.* Drummond's firsl duty was to 
arrange with George Durant and others, who were settlers before 
the late grant, for the terms of their future tenures. 

On September 29th an expedition arrived fr Barbadoes, 

bringing settlers to the Cape Pear region.^ This was under the 
conduct of Sir John Yeamans, a planter of some wealth and con- 
sideration in thai Wesl [ndian isle. Thej ascended the North 
Ka-t < 'ape Fear for a hun<lred and fifty miles, and also explored 
-nine of the tributary streams. Their entrance int<> the < ape 
Pear was on October 12th, and on the <ith of February L664, 
they reached Barbadoes on their return. The report of Sir 
John on his arrival was so favorable that the Lords Proprietors 
of Carolina were petitioned for a grant confirming a purchase 

already effected t'r the Indians.* To this grant additional 

corporate powers were solicited for government of the colony. 
The request, in its full extent, was not complied with, but in 
January, 1 66 1. Sir John Yeamans was appointed ( rovernor and 
( !ommander-in-( nicf of the new colony and county, to be known 
asClarendon.|| Yeamans was the son of a cavalier ruined in 
estate by the results of the great rebellion in England, and had 
gone to Barbadoes to restore his fortunes. He was a gentleman 
by birth and his ancestors had stood by the king in hi- fatal 
quarrel with Parliament. His father had died on the field and 
the son had no blot upon his escutcheon.§ If in subsequent 
prosperity he blurred his reputation, it was not so when he led 
the men of Barbadoes pasl Frying Pan Shoals into the fair river 

he had found. " On .May 'J'.»th. 1 (*>G5, the colony, consisting of 
several hundred, landed on the shore at the junction of ( 'ape 
Fear River and < >ld Town Creek, where they laid out a village 
called ( lharlestown. 

I lialmt i- page 519 ; Martin, vol. I. pag< I 
I awson, page 66. 

;< IimIiiht-' AimnU. |i:il:< 520. 

HawkB, vol. II. page 32 
William-Mil. page 98. 
Hawks, vol. II. page B2; Bancroft, vol. I. page I 12. 


In 1665 a new grant was procured, to cover a belt of terri- 
tory stretching from the present Virginia line to the mouth of 
the Chowan River, which had not been included in former 
grants.* In this year occurred the first session of the Grand 
Assembly of Albemarle. They petitioned the Lords Proprie- 
tors for an alteration in the tenure of their lands, and two years 
later the prayer was granted. f There was as yet no town in 
the settlements, and for many years after the Legislature con- 
vened in private houses. As late as 1715 the Assembly met at 
the house of Captain Richard Sanderson and enacted the oldest 
statutes of which we now have record. 

Governor Drummond was succeeded in 1667 by Samuel 
Stephens. The late Chief Magistrate retired to Virginia, where 
he soon incurred the resentment of Governor Berkeley, and was 
capitally punished for alleged complicity in Bacon's rebellion. 
Governor Stephens brought with him such instructions from the 
Lords Proprietors as amounted to a new Constitution. He was 
to act by and with the advice of a council of twelve; one-half 
his appointees, the others elected by the lower House of the 
Assembly. The Legislature consisted of the Governor, his 
Council and twelve delegates elected by the freeholders. This 
was an excellent and benignant concession by those, who from 
London, prepared systems for the government of men in the 
wilds of Carolina. "Not one prerogative of the Crown," says 
Chalmers, " was preserved, except only the sovereign dominion." 

The earliest recorded legislation was effected in 1669 under 
the rule of Governor Stephens. The legal profession cannot 
recur with much complacency to those ancient and primal statutes 
of North Carolina. One of them forbade the collection of debts 
contracted abroad by settlers previous to their emigration to 
Albemarle. The great need of population led to this more than 
doubtful expedient to attract dishonest debtors. This was the 
foundation for the indignant comments of Colonel William 
Byrd of Westover, in Virginia, and others, who were fond of 

*Hawks, vol. II, page 441. fChalmers, page 520. 


denouncing Carolina as "Rogue's Harbor." It was further 
provided, at the same session of the Genera] Assembly, " \- 
people mighl wish to marry, and there being no minister in the 
settlement, thai none might be hindered from so necessary a 
work for the preservation of mankind, any man and woman 
carrying before the Governor or any member of the Council a 
few of their neighbors, and declaring their mutual consent, wer 
to be declared man and wife." A limited exemption from taxa- 
tion was extended to new settlers, and dealers from abroad were 
forbidden the sale of their merchandise either to the colonists or 
Indians. The home-tend rights of settlers were inalienable 
until after two years' residence in the country. A tax of thirty 
pounds of tobacco was laid <>n each party bringing suits in the 
courts, and this was appropriated to the salary of the Governor 
and the members of hi> Council during the session of the As- 

Among the last of ( rovernor Stephens' acts was the promulga- 
tion of the famous Fundamental Constitutions, prepared at the 
instance of the Lords Proprietors, by the great English philoso- 
pher, John Locke. This wise and excellent man made the 
natural mistake of attempting to legislate for a people of who-, 
want- he was ignorant and who were equally averse to the titles 
and pageantry which were the essence of his system. A spirit of 
opposition was at once manifested to the en ml iron- scheme so dear 
to the heart- of the Proprietors. To thi> new cause of disgust was 
added an effort to break down the commerce of New England 
for the benefit of the mother country. The Navigation Act, 
passed in Cromwell's time, had been, in a measure, inoperative 
as to the colonies, [ta enforcement was now demanded by the 
Board of Trade and persisted in until it culminated, with other 
causes, in the Revolution of 1775. 

The county of Albemarle was a1 this time divided into three 
precinct- The eastern was called < larteret, the middle Berkeley, 
and the western, Shaftsbury, in honor of Anthony Ashlej 

Martin, vol. 1. page 1 15 


Cooper, then recently made an Karl. The territory, afterwards 
known as Bertie, was being rapidly peopled, and belonged to the 
precinct of Shaftsbury. In those wild days, when as yet there 
was not a village in all Albemarle, there were no centres of com- 
merce or civilization. Preachers were unknown, and in Vir- 
ginia, Sir William Berkeley was reporting to the Committee of 
the Colonies "Our ministers are well paid, and by my eonsenl 
should be better, if they would pray oftener and preach less; 
but, as of all other commodities, so of this, the worst are sent 
us, and we have few that we can boast of, since the persecution 
in Cromwell's tyranny drove divers worthy men hither. Yet I 
thank God there are no free schools, and no printing, and I hope 
we shall not have these hundred years: for learning has brought 
disobedience, heresy and sects into the world, and printing has 
divulged them and libels against the best government." 

Sir John Yeamans had established his colony on the bank- of 
the Cape Fear River eight miles below the present city of Wil- 
mington, in L665. Under his prudent management the settle- 
ment in the second year after its establishment numbered eight 
hundred people. There were negro slaves to help in the clearings 
and exports of lumber were made to Barbadoes. The Governor 
ruled wisely and well.t The trade abroad was growing and 
prosperous, under the strict adherence of the ruling spirit to in- 
structions.! He made grants of land at cheap prices and long 
credits and retained the good-will of the Indian.-, while encour- 
agement to immigration was not neglected. Some came from 
Massachusetts and pecuniary help in their behalf was received 
from their Northern friends. || So great was the drain upon the 
population of Barbadoes the authorities there forbade the further 
exodus of that community. $ But with all this encouragement 
the settlement was not to be permanent. The death of Governor 
Sayle, in the present limits of South Carolina, led to the appoint- 

: Martin. v<>1. I, page 14"). ||Hutchinson, v.. I. I. page -'l''. 

fChalmers' Annals,page 523. gMartin, vol. I. page 1 13. 

JChalmers' Annals, page • r >-'">. 


cnent of Yeamans as his successor. Soon Charleston, on the 
Cooper and Ashley Rivers, was inaugurated and to that quarter 
repaired the Cape Fear settlers in such cumbers thai by M>90 
the county of Clarendon was again a solitude, inhabited 1 »ut l>y 
the wild beasts and Indian-. 7 Sir John Yeamans was to be soon 
again represented on the Cape Fear by a j >• >-i * ri t \ which has 
been at all subsequent times of illustrious worth and useful- 

William Edmundson, a leader among the new Bed of Quakers, 
arrived with the celebrated George Fox in 1672, and was dis- 
patched from Maryland by him, as his precursor, to the county 
of A.lbemarle. Bis first sermon was at the Narrows of Per- 
quimans River, where dwelt Jonathan Phelps, and where the 
town of Hertford was afterwards built. The rude son- of the 
forest shocked the sensibilities of some of the good Friends 
by smoking their pipes during the silent portion of the devo- 
tional exercise-. This apostle of a new creed was not without 
his reward, and made converts among his disorderly audience. 
This is said to have been the first religious meeting ever held in 
North ( 'arolina.t 

Governor Samuel Stephens came to his death in 1(>7.'3. He 
was a man of negative qualities, and gave no offence as rider 
save in his efforts to enforce the provisions of the Fundamental 
Constitutions and the Navigation Act, both of which were ex- 
tremelv offensive to bis lieges. He was succeeded by George 
Cartwright, then Presidenl of the Council. 

( )n May 28th war was declared by England against the Dutch. 
King Charles, to feed his vices, had submitted to a disgraceful 
subserviency to the arms of Louis XI V., and the British monarch 
became but the hired stipendiary of France. The Low < lountries, 
in their great danger, drove hack the invaders by flooding the 

face of their territory, and the people who had resisted 80 long 

the power of Philip [I., rose against their assailants and with 
their fleets carried terror and destruction not only to the dock- 
Hawks, vol. II. page 166. tMartin. vol. I. page 155. 


yards of the Thames, but in Virginia, Commodore Binkes, with 
a Dutch squadron, burned every vessel within his reach and then 
proceeded to the capture of New York. 

In their stern tasks of subduing the wilderness and guard- 
ing against the treachery of the Tuscaroras, the people of 
Albemarle paid but slight attention to the struggles agitating 
and dividing the politician.- across the Atlantic. 'I'he Exclusion 
Bill and the revelations of Titus Oates, as well as the new 
coined terms, Whig and Tory, were unheeded, as year by year 
they cleared fresh fields and pushed further into the fores! 
toward the setting sun. 

In 1675 King Philip's war broke out in New England. The 
chief of the Narraganset Indians, by means of his ability and 
address, extended the trouble of his own to other tribes. Vir- 
ginia, in its upper counties, was harassed and in part depopu- 
lated. Colonel Bacon, indignant at the inactivity of Governor 
Berkeley, with his volunteers, came to the rescue and finally into 
open rupture with His Excellency at Williamsburg. Unhappy 
William Drummond took sides with Bacon, and thus the late 
Governor of Albemarle, while deserving a better fate, died the 
death of a traitor. Governor Cartwright met even greater op- 
position than his predecessor, Governor Stephens, in his attempted 
enforcement of the Grand Model.* The rumor of an intended 
dismemberment of the province, though utterly groundless, pro- 
duced a profound sensation in Albemarle. It was believed that 
the Lords Proprietors were about to divide among themselves, 
into smaller seignories, the territory conveyed by the king in the 
Great Deed of Grant. The Assembly of that year sent a warm 
remonstrance to the Palatine and his associate Proprietors, and 
received a complete disavowal of any such intention. < art- 
wright had been Speaker of the House of Assembly previous 
to his succession to the Chief Magistracy. He soon became dis- 
gusted with the difficulties of hi.- position, and forsaking the 

-Hawks, vol. I, page 4(54 ; Chalmers, page 532. 


colony, retired to England, leaving "the administration in ill 
order and worse hands."* 

The Lords Proprietors were now fully committed to two points 
of policy, which were breeding a dangerous and growing oppo- 
sition in the hearts of the people of Albemarle. Thev had de- 
termined thai Locke's system of government should l>e forced 
upon the colony, and that :ill trade, other than that with English 
factors, should be suppressed. Upon the resignation of < *:» rr - 
wright, in looking around for his successor, the Lords Proprietors 
found, as they thought, nun entirely fitted for the purpose in 
Eastchurch and Miller, who were both at that time in England. 
Eastchurch had been Speaker of the Assembly and a man of 
note in provincial affairs, and had gone over from Carolina as 
the agenl of the colony. Instead of preserving faith with the 
Assembly which had sent him over to remonstrate on their 
grievances, he became dear to the hearts of the Lords Proprietors 
and was made by them, in November, HiT'i, Governor of Albe- 
marle. .Miller, for alleged sedition, had been arrested by Gov- 
ernor ( lartwright, and, in utter defiance of law, was sent to Vir- 
ginia for trial before Sir William Berkeley. The twelve honest 
men who constituted the jury at Williamsburg saved him from 
the clutches of the grim old tyrant who had lately slain Gov- 
ernor Drummond, and he regained his freedom by a verdict of 
aiMjuittal.i He had crossed the ocean to represent his wrongs 
in person, before the only men qualified to righl them. How 
well he succeeded in 1 1 1 1 — mission may be seen In the fact that 
he returned to Albemarle as Marl Shaftsbury's deputy, Secretary 
of < Commerce and ( lollector of the < !ustoms, the latter a in w office 
then firsl created in the province. 

Governor Eastchurch and his secretary left England early 
in 1'I77. laden with instructions for subduing the intractable 
men who persisted in withholding reverence from the Grand 
Model and British merchants. To show his unfitness for the 
grave responsibilities he had so recently assumed, he stopped on 

Chalmers, page 533. Hawks, vol, II, page 168. 


his way, at the island of Nevis, where for two years he surren- 
dered himself to infatuation in the charms of a Creole lady, 
whom he courted and eventually succeeded in marrying. !!•■ 
appointed Miller President of the < Jouncil, in addition to other 
dignities, and that remarkable functionary hastened on to Albe- 
marle to become Governor, a lord's deputy and the king's col- 
lector of customs. II<' assumed charge in July, 1H77. The 
I id I dilation subject to his control numbered less than two thousand 
tithables. Eight hundred thousand pounds of tobacco were 
made, exclusive of the Indian corn, which was the main crop of 
the province. Miller at once entered upon the work of reform. 
He first caused Byrd, the Collector of Customs lately appointed 
by the Assembly, to pay over his receipts. In six months the 
office yielded Miller five thousand dollar- and thirty-three hogs 
heads of tobacco, by levying a penny on every pound of tobacco 
sent to other colonies. 

A- collector, he attempted to enforce the Navigation Law-. 
He was determined that Massachusetts traders should he ex- 
cluded from his ports, but ( reorge Durant, leader of the Quakers, 
headed a party which was resolved to thwart him in this pur- 
pose. This artful and resolute man was the oldest settler and 
conspicuous for his wealth. A New England -kipper, named 
Gillam, with George Durant aboard, came in an armed vessel 
and precipitated the trouble which Culpepper and Crawford had 
been concocting on land. Upon landing, Gillam was arrested 
by the Governor and held to bail. He assumed the air of in- 
jured innocence and told the people he would take hi> cargoand 
leave the country. The prospect of losing so much rum and 
molasses was agonizing to the hungry colonists. Sedition- vio- 
lence was manifested by the people. The rash and irritated 
( Jovernor hoarded the vessel, pistol in hand, and arrested < reorge 
Durant. Culpepper and his confederates were on hand and at 
once seized and imprisoned Governor Miller.* 

" I [awks, vol. 1 1, page 475. 


Tims in December, l'i~7, was the lawful government of Al- 
bemarle overthrowD by John Culpepper and bis confederates. 
This hold, bad man had been made surveyor <it' the province in 
1671, and afterwards was driven from < !harlestown, where bis life 
had been forfeited by like treasonable and seditious practices. 
There can be little doubl iliat be and other New England men 
had combined with the Quakers to resisl the enforcement of 
English laws and the wishes of the Lords Proprietors, even to 
the extent of armed rebellion.* Miller and the seven deputies 
of the Lords Proprietors were all committed to prison. Three 
thousand pounds sterling in the collector's office, belonging ti- 
the king, were seized and appropriated, and a manifesto was 
published setting forth the injuries inflicted by the late Gov- 
ernor, and subscribed to on December 3rd by thirty persons. 

Upon Governor Eastchurch's arrival from \\\> long and amor- 
ous delays, he found Culpepper in possession of hi- office. He 
denied the authority of Eastchurch as Governor of Albemarle, 
and refused him the slightest show of obedience. The unhappy 
laggard thus forestalled, went to cool his anger in a tedious wait- 
ing for help at the hands of Governor ( hicherty of Virginia. 
The seductions of the old Kaleigh Tavern and elegant society 
then to l»e found at Williamsburg, could not assuage his grief, 
and he died of vexation before the -lately officials of the Old 
Dominion had reached their ceremonious resolution to aid him 
in his deposed helplessness. 

All this lawless disorder grew out of two cause.-. The people 
were unwilling to be taxed and otherwise disturbed by a State 
( 'hurch. They were also unwilling to forego the advantage- and 

convenience of the New England trade. Culpepper was a mere 
demagogue and cared oothing for the colony beyond his own ad- 
vancement, lie seems to have loved -edition and mischief and 
wrought upon the religious scruples and selfishness of a rude 
people, that he might plunder the revenue and taste the sweets of 
power. The bigoted Granville as Palatine had. by hi- order.- to 

i balmers, page 561 ; Hawks, vol. II. page 177. 


Governor Daniel, brought all this mischief upon the province, 

when he well knew that Bishop Compton and others of the 
Missionary Society in London were opposed to tin* creation of a 
State Church. In wrong-headed folly he was like King James 
II., who could throw away the crowns of three kingdoms in an 
effort to dragoon his people into the Romish faith, and was yet 
wicked enough to resist all entreaties of his best friends for a 
cessation of his criminal intercourse with Catharine Sedley. 
England was no more determined in resisting the Jesuits than 
were the men of Carolina in their opposition to enforced confor- 
mity in religion and trade. 

That the Lords Proprietors and the people of Albemarle 
should have for two years suffered a mere adventurer like John 
Culpepper to remain in the office he had usurped, is one of the 
marvels of history. The daring intruder went to England to 
explain his conduct to the Lords Proprietors and the Committee 
of the Plantations. The latter body was then composed of Lords 
Anglesey, Hyde, Bridgewater, Lauderdale, Coventry and Wor- 
cester.* He was confronted before them by his victim, Miller, 
who had escaped from prison and was again in England with a 
tale of wrong. The Lords of the Plantations reported, that having 
heard the complaints of the officers of the customs and the Lords 
Proprietors, they were satisfied of his privity to the rebellion, 
imprisonment of the deputies and collector, as well as the seizure 
of the king's funds, and prayed that no favor might be shown 
him until he returned the amount he had embezzled. t Cul- 
pepper was arraigned and tried for treason in the Court of 
Kind's Bench, Trinity term, 1680. He was indicted under the 
statute of Henry VIII. , and was successfully defended by Earl 
Shaftsbury. His Lordship had forgotten his deputy, -Miller, 
and pleaded for his client that there "had never been any regu- 
lar government in Albemarle, and that its disorders wen- only 
feuds between the planters, which could only amount to a riot." 
The judges ruled that taking up arms against the proprietary 

*Carroll, page 339. tMartin. vol. I, page 171. 

riIST< >R"i I '1 NORTH I ^ROLIN \ 1680. 

government was treason against the king The prisoner went 
back i" America and that year laid out the origiual plan of the 
city of < lharleston, South < Carolina. ; 

John Harvey, as Presidenl of the < louncil, was al once sent as 
( rovernor of Albemarle to exercise temporary rule. He was the 
first of a name long celebrated in Carolina annals, though but 
little i> known of him personally. He was succeeded in Juue, 
I 680, by John pJenkins, who died in December of the next year. 
But in February before his death, he had given place to Henry 
Wilkinson as< rovernor of Albemarle. Such rulers as these could 
accomplish but little in allaying the angry disorders still prevalent 
in the province. Many of the best inhabitants had been driven 
in Virginia for their adherence to what they believed redounded 
to the honor and rights of the Proprietors. Seth Sothel, upon 
the death of the Karl of Clarendon, had purchased the latterV 
interest in Carolina. He was persuaded to go over and assume 
the place of < rovernor, and started in L680, but was captured al 
sea by an Algerine corsair and detained in captivity, so rhat he 
did not reach Albemarle until 1683. It would have been better 
for the colony it' he had never come. By common consent, he 
is remembered as the most beastly and detestable man ever per- 
mitted to nde in America. He broke up all trade between the 
colonists and the Indian-, that lie uiighl monopolize the profits. 
He seized and confiscated, withoul the shadow of cause, mer- 
chant ships and their cargoes He imprisoned Thomas Pollock 
for attempting to appeal against his rapacity, and George I>n- 
rant. having expressed disapprobation <>t' bis course, received 
like treatment and further injury. He stole negroes, cattle, 
plantations, and even pewter dishes were not exempl from his 
filthy and rapacious hands. All his sympathies were with 
villain- like himself, ami no man could be prosecuted to punish- 
ment who had m y to bribe the Governor. For five years 

was this monster endured, when in 1688, the people seized his 
person with the purpose of sending him to England for trial. 

II lw k g ,..|. it. pagf h [-.Johnson's Traditions of the Revolution. 


He added cowardice to his other enormities, and fearing the 
result if judged in Westminster, he begged that the General 
Assembly should take jurisdiction and punish him as he de- 
served. He was found guilty of all the charge- and compelled 
to leave the country for twelve months and the office of Gov- 
ernor for all time. 

Charles II. had been dead for three years, when in 1688 an 
event similar to the above was witnessed in England. King 
James II. had also forfeited the confidence and worn out the 
patience of his subjects, and in the same year with the fall of 
Governor Sothel, was driven from the throne of his ancestors. 
The Prince of Orange and his wife, the daughter of the late 
king, succeeded to the throne, which had been declared vacant, 
and at last the English people obtained that free Constitution 
which has since made them so powerful and celebrated. 

In the course of the succeeding year, 1689, Philip Ludwell, 
late a Collector of Customs in Virginia, and the husband of 
Lady Frances, widow of Governor Berkeley, came as Governor 
of Albemarle. He remained in charge for four years, and 
was then sent to Charleston to control the southern province. 
He was succeeded by Major Alexander Lillington, who, in addi- 
tion to the wisdom of his rule, was the founder of a family and 
name to be long and widely reverenced in Carolina. His ad- 
ministration was further marked by the abrogation of Locke's 
cumbrous system of government, which event occurred in April, 
1693.* Thomas Harvey became Governor in 1695. His juris- 
diction seems not to have been interfered with as Governor of 
Albemarle, in the general commission over both province- co- 
temporaneously given the patient and politic Quaker, John 
Archdalc. The latter, by purchase of his father the year before, 
had come into the possession of the share of Lady Frances 
Berkeley, and he was consequently one of the Lord- Proprietors. 

The next Deputy-Governor was not appointed for Albemarle 
until 1704. In that interval Thomas Barvey was succeeded in 

■Hawks, vol. II, page 495 ; Chalmers, page 552. 


1699, by Henderson Walker, then President of the Council. 
Governor Walker had been Attorney-General and Judge of the 
Supreme Court. He married the daughter <»f Alexander Lil- 
lington. He died in L704, at the early age of II. and was 
buried near Edenton, where his rnonurnenl may -till be seen. 
An important change was effected during his rule, in the judi- 
ciary. The General Court had been held l>v the Governor, the 

• ■ 

deputies of the Proprietors and two assistants. This court was 
too numerous and was too rarely composed of men bred to the 
law. The Lords Proprietors issued a commission appointing 
five Justices of the Supreme Court, two of whom were to con- 
stitute a quorum. 

Albemarle was enjoying profound quiet in the spring of 1704, 
when Governor Walker died. His place was supplied in the 
person of Colonel Robert Daniel, who had lately distinguished 
himself in the expedition against St. Augustine. The popula- 
tion of Albemarle had at this time reached between five and six 
thousand persons. The southern shores of the sound and the 
Bertie peninsular were both being populated, and a peaceful 
prosperity was every where manifested. Lord Carteret, late Sir 
George Carteret, was Palatine the year of Governor Daniel's 
accession. He instructed the new Chief Magistrate to procure 
the passage of a law through the Assembly to establish the 
Church of England in Albemarle. The church in question was 
represented in the province by one clergyman named Blair, who 
had been sent out by Lord Waymouth. The great body of the 
people opposed the movement, bul the Governor procured its 
passage, and parishes were established and provisions made for 
the erection of churches and purchase of glebes. Great oppo- 
sition was manifested, especially anion- the Quakers. A re- 
monstrance was sent to England, and the House of Lord- re- 
solved that the recent act of Assembly "was Pounded on falsity 
in matter of fact, repugnant to the laws of England, contrary 
to the charter of the Lords Proprietors, an encouragement to 
atheists and irreligion, detrimental to trade, and tended to the 
depopulation and ruin of the province." I £ueen Anne, who had 


succeeded William III., declared the act null and void. In regard 
to this very matter of church establishment, the inhabitants of 

Colleton county, in South Carolina, .sent John Ashe, who was a 
leading citizen among them and the grandfather of Governor 
Samuel Ashe, of this State, to England to lay their troubles 
before the Lords Proprietors. He passed through Albemarle 
on his way to Virginia, and being cordially received by the 
people, Edmund Porter was induced to accompany him on a 
similar mission in behalf of the northern province. Earl Gran- 
ville, the Palatine, endeavored by his coldness to prevent John 
Ashe from accomplishing his purpose with the Lords Proprie- 
tors, and the Carolinian died in London too soon to see his pur- 
pose effected in the resolution of the Peers and the action of the 

Colonel Daniel was succeeded in 1705 by Thomas Carey, as 
Deputy-Governor. John Archdale and the Quakers of Albe- 
marle induced the Proprietors to order Sir Nathaniel Johnston 
to effect this change. Carey, at first, gave the men who had 
procured his exaltation almost as much trouble as they had expe- 
perienced at the hands of his predecessors. They were fast gain- 
ing power by securing appointments to office and seats in the 
Legislature, when the Governor called their attention to the 
recent act of Parliament in regard to oaths of office. He showed 
them to what they would have to swear before induction. They 
of course refused to take the oaths. He was not satisfied with 
this, but procured the passage of an act by the Assembly which 
provided that whoever should promote his own election or ad 
officially in any way without first taking the prescribed oath-. 
should forfeit for each offence, five pounds. This exasperated 
the men against whom it was aimed, beyond measure, and they 
at once sent John Porter to England for redress. These events 
occurred in 1706. f 

*Martin, vol. 1, page 219. fHawks, vol. II. page 509. 



A. I». 1706 TO 1729. 

Governor Archdale ami religious liberty— Thomas Carry ami tin- Quakers 
William Glover elected President of the Council- He renews the trouble 
as to tot oaths —Porter ami < larey conspire against Glover Edward Mo 
ley tli' Achitophel of tin- Carolina rebels — His antagonism vvith Thomas 
Pollock — Contested elections and deposition of Glover — Philipe De 
Richebourg and the Baron De GrafTenreid bring over new colonists -Town 
of Bath chartered— Queen Anne'6 Creek -Governor Hyde arrives iron, 
England — Indian murders on tin' upper Chowan — Hyde orders an 
assembly Carey denies tin- validity of ii~ acts— He takes up arm- against 
Governor Hyde ami the Assembly— Applications for help to Governor 
Spottswood Marines sent and ( larey's flight — .John 1'orter and < larey excite 
the Tuscaroras to war — The great massacre — Aid from abroad solicited— 
Tom Blunt is neutral and Col. Barnwell conies with South Carolinians and 
Yeinassees — Battle on the Neusc — Handcock make- a treaty and violates 

it — Forts constructed in Edgecombe and Carteret — Yellow fever and death 
of Governor Hyde— Colonel Pollock heroine* i iovernor -Colonels McKee 
and Mitchell lead the North Carolina forces— ( Iovernor Craven of South 
Carolina sends Colonel .lames Moore with troops and friendly Indians— Siege 
and capture of Nahucke — Peace is made and the main body of the Tusca- 
roras go to New York — Charles Eden comes as (iovernor — Colonel Maurice 

M -e leads North Carolina troops to the aid of South Carolina against the 

Indians— Assemhly at Richard Sanderson's — Edward Moseley and Maurice 
Moore get into trouble— The Pirate Blackbeard and Governor Eden -May- 
nard's battle with Teach in Pamlico Sound —Erection of Bertie precinct - 
Court houses erected — Ahoskie Ridge and St. John's Chapel — Governor 
Burrington— The Virginia line— Edward Moseley assumes the government 
until the arrival of Sir Richard Everard — The Crown a~sumcs control in 
place of the Proprietors. 

It has been seen in the record of facta preceding Culpepper's 
rebellion bow disastrous the effects of the effort on the part of 
the Lords Proprietors to enforce the provisions of the Grand 
Model and the selfish exactions of the Navigation Act. Com- 
plete pacification bad followed the abandonment of those meas- 
ures. Lord Granville and bis weak agent, Governor Daniel, 
had introduced in their proposition lor a church establishment 
a new engine of discord and confusion. It was known in all the 
colonies what cniel effects bad followed similar enactments in 


Massachusetts and Virginia. Albemarle had beeD peopled by 

men fleeing from the persecutions born of precisely the same 
kind of legislation. The great body of its people were dissent- 
ers and well knew how harsh the Church of England had been 
in parliamentary enactments. Queen Anne and the House of 
Lords had recently condemned the monstrous injustice of such a 
step in the wilds of Carolina. Honest John Arehdale had 
written: "It is stupendous to consider how passionate and pre- 
posterous zeal not only vaunts but stupefies the rational powers. 
Cannot dissenters kill wolves and bears as well as churchmen; 
also fell trees and clear ground, and be as capable of defending 
the same, as others? Surely Pennsylvania can bear witness to 
what I write, and Carolina falls in no ways short of that in it- 
natural productions to the industrious planter." Thomas Care} 
had been made Governor of the colony mainly by men who were 
opposed to Lord Granville's scheme of a church establishment. 
His first official act was to turn upon the Quakers, and not con- 
tent with an odious test oath recently prescribed by Parliament, 
he procured the Assembly of Albemarle to supplement its in- 
justice with heavy lines upon any official neglecting to take 
such oaths. 

If John Culpepper was ambitious and seditious by nature, 
Thomas Carey added to these faults an obstinacy and thirst for 
revenge which made him a scourge and curse to the people he 
was to divide and ruin. The preceding chapter of this narra- 
tive left John Porter, the Quaker envoy, on a mission to England. 
He proved successful in his negotiations. The power of John- 
ston as Governor-General was suspended and Carey removed 
from office. These changes were effected upon the arrival of 
John Porter from England in the autumn of 1707. When he 
had made known his success and exhibited the order- of the 
Lords Proprietors, a day was appointed for Carey to lay down 
his powers of office and for the old deputies to give place to the 
new ones freshly appointed. Exulting revenge filled the breast 
of Porter. He could not wait for the appointed time t<> taste 


the 8 weete of triumph. He al once railed together the new 
deputies, most of whom, like himself, were Quakers, and elected 
Glover chairman, and therefore ex-ojjhew Governor. The new 
Chief Magistrate was Episcopal in his faith, but for some reason 
was selected by the men who were so obstinately opposed to test 
uatli-. Thomas Carev acknowledged tin- validity of his elec- 
tion, and the triumph of the non-Conformists seemed complete.f 
Governor Glover well knew that the uniform practice of colo- 
nial governments had been to disregard the strictness of English 
statutes against dissenters. The spirit of all the charters was 
opposed to the odious discriminations so rigidly enforced in the 
mother land. No officer in all England could escape subscrip- 
tion to the famous thirty-nine A.rticles of Protestant faith, and 
vet they werea dead letter in America. That the late statute of 
Queen Anne was not intended by Parliament for the plantations 
was evidenced in the recent removal of Governor Carey. The 
Quakers of Albemarle then had reason for their astonishment 
and anger when the second creature of their hands, the newly- 
in-tailed Governor Glover, announced his determination to ad- 
here to the very same construct ion and practice for which Carey 
had been removed. 

l'orter and his Quaker friends were exasperated beyond meas- 
ure. They immediately made terms with the deposed Carey 
and called to their councils an able adviser in the person of 
Edward Mbseley. He was the leading lawyer of the province, 
was a warm Churchman, but hated Colonel Thomas Pollock, the 
chiif defender of Governor Glover, with a hatred which ab- 
sorbed all other considerations. It may be that as a lawyer he 
saw no necessity for (Hover's insisting upon the tesl oath-, but 
he and all hi- motley associates at the same time knew that 
under the recent decision of the ( lourt of the King's Bench, in 
the case of Culpepper, they were hatching treason against the 
Proprietors and the Crown. John Porter initiated the troubles 

Hawks, vol. II. page 509. 

I Pollock's Letter Book; Hawks, vol. II. page 511. 


by denying the validity of Glover's election, notwithstanding 

the part he had taken therein. He next procured :i meeting <>f 
the old and new deputies of the Lords Proprietors and induced 
them to join him in impeaching the title of the Chief Magis- 
trate, and then to re-elect Thomas Carey to the position from 
which he had been so recently removed, at Porter's solicitation, 
by the authorities in London. 

Glover, as President of the Council and acting Governor, 
issued writs to Deputy. Marshal Halsey and ordered the election 
of an Assembly. Carey appointed one Fendall for a similar 
purpose. At the polls these officers of the rival governments 
each read their writs, and of those qualified to vote the live free- 
holders conducting the election in Chowan declared that ninety- 
four of the electors had cast their suffrages for candidates favor- 
able to Glover, while Carey's friends received hut sixty-live. 
Edward Moseley, as the partisan of Carey, immediately de- 
manded another election, and by his efforts came near ending the 
matter in a riot. The consequence of this election was there 
were two sets of claimants to the House of Assembly. The 
Quakers of Pasquotank and Perquimans being a majority of the 
House, seated the Carey members from Chowan, to the disgusl 
of the Currituck delegation, a portion of whom withdrew from 
the Legislature. After Moseley had been elected and qualified 
as Speaker, John Porter exhibited his commissions and instruc- 
tions obtained in London, and the Assembly hastened to the 
passage of acts nullifying preceding enactments of test oaths. 
Glover agreed to submit his claims to the Assembly, but this 
amounted to nothing, as one House was committed to Carey and 
the other hopelessly divided. 

In the midst of all this distraction the colony grew both in 
wealth and numbers. Some of the Huguenots, with Philipe 
De Richebourg, settled on Trent River. ( Jhristopher De < rraffen- 
reid, a Swiss nobleman, also led a colony of his countrymen to 
the same region. There were as yet no town- worthy of tin 
name in North Carolina. Bath had been incorporated in L705, 
but has never been in all its history more than a mere hamlet. 


Colonel Pollock ami others lived on the bay at the entrance of 

Queen Anne's Creek into the sound, and a village, - i to !><• 

known as Edenton, was slowly rising in a location as remarkable 
for beauty a- for commercial advantages. 

In the month of August, 1710, Edward Byde arrived in Al- 
bemarle, having been appointed by the Lords Proprietors, Gov- 
ernor of the province. Edward Tynte, Governor-General of 
Carolina, was ordered to make ou1 the commission of the new 
Governor of the Northern Province, bul was dead when the 
latter arrived. Edward Hyde, kinsman and namesake of the 
first Karl of Clarendon, who was the grandfather of Ber Majesty 
Queen Anne, although deprived by accident of official vouchers, 
was vet understood and recognized to be the lawful Governor of 
Albemarle.* Thomas Carey joined in the general request that 
he should not wait for the arrival of his commission, bul at 
once assume the functions to which there was no doubt the Lords 
Proprietors had endeavored to assign him. 

In the genera] growth of the province the territory soon to be 
known as Bertie, which lav between the Roanoke and Chowan 
Rivers, had largely participated. There were many settlers, es- 
pecially upon Ahoskie Ridge, which extends from near Winton 
to the neighborhood of the Roanoke. In this territory there had 
Keen several murders of white people by the Meberrin [ndians, 
at that time located in what is now known a- Manney's Neck.i 
These and other facts exhibited a spirit anion- the Indians 
which was full of danger to the white settlers. The Meherrins 
were not numerous, and not being allied to the Tuscaroras, the 
authorities were satisfied with the arrest and punishment of one 
or two of the offenders. The Indian- in another quarter l>e- 
sieeed a party of inhabitants in a -mall fort which had been 
hastily prepared for defend , 

Colonel Pollock and other wealthy gentlemen who were the 
objects of Carets persecution and had consequently retired to 

I lawks, vol. 1 1, page SI B. 

(■Hawks, vol. II. page 519; Martin, vol. I. page 236. 
| Martin, vol. I. page 237. 


Virginia, now that tranquility among all parties seemed to have 
been restored, returned to Carolina. In March, 1711, Governor 
Hyde called an Assemby, though he had not yet received his 
commission. Carey took alarm at this step and canvassed vig- 
orously to secure the election of a majority of his friends to the 
Lower House. He failed in this and immediately protested 
against the legality of Hvde's authority in calling the Assembly. 
The Legislature convened and at once proceeded to inquire 
into the matter of Carey's accountability of the public funds 
which he had used at will for many years, and also rashly to 
issue orders for his arrest. These violent measures, which were 
condemned by Governor Spottswood of Virginia, in his dispatch 
to Lord Dartmouth, alarmed and exasperated the culprit, who 
now saw that he could avoid punishment only in flight or by 
overpowering the lawful government. Having resolved on the 
latter alternative, he sallied out from his fortified house and 
with an armed brig and cutter endeavored to seize the person of 
Governor Hyde. He was foiled in this, and Hyde sent for aid 
from the Governor of Virginia. Carey and his Quaker adhe- 
rents established a rival government, of which he was chief.* 
Soon Clayton, as the envoy of Spottswood, made his appearance 
on the scene, and Carey, after baffling all efforts at settlement, 
fled on the approach of a body of marines sent from Virginia 
for his apprehension. This was the last trouble to the colony 
in his long struggle for power, but in his fall he sowed the seeds 
which were soon to ripen into ruin and death throughout a large 
portion of the province. John Porter, who seemed born fordiplo- 
macy, in defiance of his Quaker faith, undertook the task of 
exciting the Tuscaroras to war on the whites, f September 22nd, 
saw the fruition of this horrible plot. On that night the Tus- 
caroras and other tribes, numbering sixteen hundred warriors, 
fell upon the settlers and murdered many men, women and 
children under circumstances of the greatest atrocity. The de- 

*Hawks, vol. II. page -">1!>. 

fSpottswood's Letters ; Hawks, vol. II. page 523. 


struction of life and property was principally confined to the 
southern shores of AJbemarle Sound and the lower Roanoke. 
Just previous to the massacre, Baron I ><■ Graffenreid and John 
Lawson, the surveyor <>f the province, were seized <»n the banks 
<>t Neuse River, and Lawson and a negro servant accompanying 
them were most cruelly murdered. I >< Graffenreid was released 
finally, and escaped death by claiming to be the king of tin- 
Swiss settlement just established, and promising that his people 
should occupy no land without the consent of the Indians. 

The condition of the province was horrible. Faction and 
civil disorder had so paralyzed the government that there was 
scarcely the semblance of authority left. Governor Hyde at 
once saw the impossibility of raising and equipping a sufficient 
force to meet the formidable Indian confederacy by which he 
was assailed. A great portion of the people were Quakers, 
others wen- the adherents of Carey, and in this way ruin seemed 
imminent. Messengers were dispatched for aid both to South 
( 'arolinia and Virginia. 

Tom Blunt was chief of the Tuscaroras living in Bertie. 
This tribe had not participated in the murder of the white peo- 
ple. Governor Spottswood confirmed these Indians in their 
pacific resolutions, and deterred other tribes from joining the 
league, and this was the extent of Virginia's aid. Very differ- 
ent conduct was witnessed in South Carolina, Colonel Barn- 
well, with a small body of militia and several hundred Yemassee 
Indian.-, at once came to the rescue. Funds were also voted to 
aid the distress of the Bister colony. New- of aid from the 
south reached Governor Hyde in time to embody his militia for 
co-operation with the coming allies. The long march from 
Charleston was accomplished with remarkable expedition, and a 
junction of the forces having been effected, Colonel John Barn- 
well at once a— nnied the offensive. He encountered the enemy 
in the upper portion of Craven county .January 28th, 1712. 
There on the shore of the Neuse, in a work strongly defended 
by palisades, were the men so lately engaged in slaughter and 

devastation. ( )n the approach of the white- the Indians boldly 


sallied from their works to give battle to the assailants. Barn- 
well made a furious assault and defeated them with great slaugh- 
ter. Three hundred of the red men were slain upon the field, 
one hundred captured and an unknown number wounded. The 
survivors retreated into their fort and received terms of capitu- 
lation from the victors. Colonel Louis Mitchell, with his Swiss 
artillerymen, it was asserted, could have soon demolished the 
palisades had not the surrender been received.* This fact and 
certain depredations of the Yemassees produced discontent against 
Colonel Barnwell. But in the main, North Carolina has ever 
revered his name for his gallant and timely assistance. 

Handcock, the Tuscarora chief, had made a treaty with Barn- 
well, which he was not slow to violate. Fresh atrocities on the 
part of the Indians showed that war was again on hand. The 
Assembly met March 12th, 1712, and voted twenty thousand 
dollars for military supplies. A messenger was sent t< > the Sap< »na 
Indians, and a fort was ordered to be built on Core Sound to over- 
awe the Indians in that vicinity. It was named in honor of the 
Governor, and was not distant from the work now known as 
Fort Macon. Another work of similar character was ordered to 
be constructed on the banks of Tar River, in the present county 
of Edgecombe. Virginia and South Carolina were again im- 
portuned for aid, and as was the case in the previous year, help 
came only from the latter province. Great alarm was felt lest 
the Iroquois Five Nations in New York should join their Tus- 
carora brethren. To such danger was the added horror of a 
visitation from yellow fever. This scourge for the first time fell 
upon the colony and was fearful in its ravages. ( rovernor Hyde 
was among its victims, and he expired September 8th, 1712. 

Amid this complication of calamities, four days after the < Jov- 
ernor's death, Colonel Thomas Pollock was elected to succeed 
him. He had originally come to the colony as a deputy for one 
of the Lords Proprietors, Lord Carteret, afterwards Earl of ( iian- 
ville, and had been for years conspicuous for his wealth and in- 

■Martin, vol. I. page 251. 


telligence. A long feud existed between him and Edward 
Aloseley, and in all the civil turmoil they wire the real leaders 
of tlic opposite factions. No blame can he imputed to Pollock 

except in hi- advocacy of the tesi oath- and hatred of the 
Quakers. He was the founder of a family long prominent in 
the State, and began a fortune which grew t«> be princely in the 
hands of his posterity. He was cool, sagacious and possessed of 
knowledge a- to every public man of the province he was called 
upon to rule. His ( !hief .Inst ice was ( Ihristopher Gale, who had 
rendered service as agent of the province in it- solicitations for 
aid. Judge (Jali' was Learned and upright, and was the ancestor 
of the Little family. So also was William Little, the Attorney- 
General, who married Christopher Gale's daughter, and went out 
of office with the close of proprietary rule. 

Baron He Graffenreid remained in captivity until the summer 
of this year. His release was procured^ from the Indians by 
Governor Spotts wood. lie returned to New-Bern, where he 
preserved his promise of neutrality, and was of aid to the bal- 
ance of the colony in ascertaining and communicating the designs 
of the hostile Indians.* 

Governor Pollock, in his address to the Assembly, presented 
a deplorable picture. The whole of Pamlico and Neuse countries, 
he said, were laid waste and the families living in forts. Albe- 
marle was not only supplying her troop- in the field with grain, 
but was the only source from which the county of Bath could 
be \'c<\. The province was heavily in debf for the pay of their 

militia which had been kept in actual service. One hun- 
dred and fifty men were on the Neuse, under Colonels 
McKee and Mitchell, awaiting reinforcement- from South ( ain- 

lina. I le still continued to hold the Quakers responsible for 
all the troubles that he and the province had known. 

Governor Craven of South Carolina -cut information that 

( o| I .lame- Moore, a BOH of the late ( rOvernor of that State. 

was on the inarch with a thousand Indian- and fifty white men. 

Martin, vol. I, page 254. 

1713. END OF Till-] INDIAN WAR. 39 

They reached Neuse River early in December, and such was 
the poverty of the country that they were marched into Albe- 
marle before supplies could be obtained. In January they were 
again put in motion and halted at Fort Reading. Handcock, 
on Colonel Moore's approach, sought his palisades, where uow 
stands the village of Snow Hill, in Greene county. They called 
their fort Nahucke. The siege began March 20th. In a few 
days, after great loss to the Tuscaroras, the fort, with eight 
hundred prisoners, was taken by storm. Colonel Moore had 
twenty white men and thirty-six Indians killed and a hundred 
wounded. The Yemassees, as in the year before, secured cap- 
tives and at once left without waiting for orders. Only oik 
hundred and eighty remained, and with these and his white 
forces, the gallant South Carolinian remained in the field until 
peace was made. Colonel Moore was of the same stock which 
has been for many generations renowned in North Carolina for 
genius, eloquence, valor and patriotism. 

The war was soon brought to a happy conclusion. The In- 
dians belonging to the Tuscarora tribe, lately engaged in hos- 
tilities, possessed a few survivors who were not engaged in the 
battle of Nahucke. These retreated to their fort at ( Jahunke, but 
hearing of the disaster of their comrades, disbanded and soughl 
safety on the upper waters of the Roanoke. Their power had 
been effectually broken and Handcock, their chief, soon with- 
drew with a remnant of his people and joined their kindred of 
the Five Nations in the lake country of New York. Those 
powerful Iroquois were on the eve of joining the Tuscaroras 
when peace was made.* Tom Blunt had not only kept his 
towns at peace with the white people, but had faithfully observed 
his treaty stipulations and had captured twenty of the Indians 
who were lately leaders in the massacre, and had made war on 
the Cotheckneys and Matchepungos. As a reward for his ser- 
vice, he was granted a reservation of land, h*i>t in Hyde county 
and afterwards this was changed and the beautiful region known 

*Hawks, vol. II. page 550. 


I" IIIst<)|;y OF NORTH CAROLINA. 1713. 

as the Indians' Woods, in Bertie, was assured to him and his 

Colonel Moore and his Indian troops lingered long enough to 
bring to terms a remnant of hostile Indians in Hyde, and the 
Corees upon the seacoast. Having completely and most faith- 
fully finished his work amid the thanks of a rescued people, be 
took shipping and went to Charleston. Bui one hundred of the 
thousand Yemasseea were with him at the time of his departure. 
He was Boon to become < tovernor of South ( Carolina and the idol 
of his people.* 

In a dispatch <>f Governor Pollock to Lord Carteret, dated 
October loth, a greal Impovement was reported in the affairs 
of the province. Faction had nearly disappeared, and of the 
late formidable League in arms againsl the settlers not more than 
fifty warriors were hovering dispirited on the distanl frontier. 
"The Quakers," wrote he, "though very refractory under Presi- 
dent Glover's and < Sovernor Hyde'- administrations, since I have 
been entrusted with the government, I must Deeds acknowledge, 
have been as ready in supplying provisions for the forces as anv 
other inhabitants of the province." 

I he war left the province heavily in debt. To meet its en- 
gagements and supply a circulating medium, the Assembly 
ordered the issuing of hills of credit to the amount of forty 
thousand dollars. This was the first pa|>er money ever issued in 
North Carolina. These promises to pay were not legal tenders 
except in contracts for the delivery of rated commodities, and 
were not based at all upon the idea of their redemption in the 

precious metals. It was seen that a circulating medium of some 
sort was needed and this was the hot in the reach of a primitive 
and impoverished people. t 

The Duke of Beaufort, Palatine of Carolina, on duly 13th, 
1 713, granted a commission to Charles Eden as Governor of 
North Carolina. He arrived iii the spring of the following year 
and qualified Ma\ 28th. His instructions differ essentially from 

Martin, vol. I. page 256. [-Martin, vol. I. page -■ 


those given his predecessors. Expansion of the settlements was 
to be discouraged by not allowing land to be surveyed further 
than twenty miles from the rivers ('ape Fear and Trent. Quit- 
rents were to be at ten shillings a thousand acres. The expense of 
government had increased to forty-five hundred dollars a year. 
The sale of lands and receipt of rents for the use of the Pro- 
prietors amounted to less than six thousand dollars. A half 
century had gone by since the Lords Proprietors had assumed 
jurisdiction of their great grant, and though they had expended 
considerable sums in peopling and governing their province, it 
barely yielded them a revenue of a hundred dollars each. It is not 
astonishing then that thev exhibited so little interest in the late 
perilous emergency in the fortunes of their colony. If ( Jovernors 
Craven and Spottswood had exhibited similar indifference. 
Handcoek would soon have been joined by the New York Iro- 
quois and the tragedy of Roanoke Island would have been re- 
peated with even greater horror. The Duke of Beaufort died 
May 24th, and was succeeded by John, Lord Carteret as Pala- 
tine of Carolina. Queen Anne also came to her death August 
1st. She had survived a numerous progeny, and was succeeded 
on the British throne by the Elector of Hanover, who became 
George I. 

The late disasters of North Carolina had their counterpart in 
171"), in South Carolina. The Yemassees went back from the 
slaughter of the Tuscaroras and soon formed a league with all 
the tribes from Cape Fear to Florida, for a war upon the whites. 
On April 25th the butchery commenced at Pocotaligo and soon 
four hundred persons were slain. Upon the reception of this intel- 
ligence there was trouble with the Coree and Matchapungo In- 
dians, who committed several murders. Governor Eden called 
out a portion of the militia. A force consisting of both infantry 
and cavalry was at once sent to the relief of those who had so 
recentlv done battle in behalf of North Carolina. Colonel 
Maurice Moore, of Brunswick on the Cape Fear, commanded 

these levies. He was the brother of Colonel James M v, the 

hero of Nahuckc, and had recently become a citizen of the north- 


era province. Their father, Governor James Moore, married 

the daughter of Sir John Yeamans, and Col I Maurice Moure 

had assumed charge of the lands mi the Cape Fear which his 
grandfather, the Baronet, had settled in 1665and abandoned in 


Governor Eden met his first Assembly at the house of Captain 
Richard Sanderson, on Little River, November lTtli 171.") + 
The acts of this Legislature arc the oldest of which we now 
retain copies and were the first in which revision and codifica- 
tion were attempted. The scarcity of a circulating medium in- 
duced an addition of a hundred thousand dollars in bills of 
credit to the forty thousand ordered two rears before. A tax 
was laid, to he used as a sinking fund in redemption of' these 
hills. The body of this act contained a childish denunciation 
of any legislative movement contravening its policy. After the 
long struggle on the subject of a church establishment, the whole 
matter was arranged by declaring: that the Church of England 
should be the church of the province, bul at the same time pro- 
vided for full liberty of conscience. The old struggle with the 
Quakers or test oaths was ended by the substitution, for their 
benefit, of a solemn affirmation which was to he taken in lien of 
the oaths towards which they had manifested >u<li pious and 
obstinate horror. 

Edward Moseley was, as usual, Speaker of the House. \ s 
in the administrations of Glover, Hyde and Pollock, this irre- 
pressible lawyer was again on hand to oppose and embarrass the 
Governor. He led the House to adopt resolutions censuring 
Governor Eden lor hi- impressment of men and property in 
view of the Indian war. AJso the fact that he had weakened 
the government by sending out troops to South Carolina. That 
he had heen inhuman in hi- treatment of the ( 'oree I ndians and 
that all officers who should refuse to take the public hills in pay- 
ment of fee- and quit-rents were guilty of a great breach of the 

Wheeler, vol. II. page 17. {Public Act-, page 9. 

tII:iw k-. vol. 1 1, page !•">.■{. 


act of the Assembly, Mr. Speaker Moseley, William Swaun, the 
old Quaker envoy John Porter, and others were constituted a 
committee to represent these things to the Lords Proprietors and 
to solicit them to order their deputies to receive the public bills 
of credit in payment of quit-rents as was the case in South ( !aro- 
lina. The last request was reasonable enough, but the Proprie- 
tors, like our modern bond-holders, instructed their agents to 
collect their dues only in sterling money. 

Governor Eden was a polished, genial and popular man in 
social intercourse and soon became trusted and beloved in all 
portions the State. The village on Queen Anne's Creek was 
named Edenton in his honor. Just across the beautiful bay on 
Salmon Creek, he built Eden House, where he spent the latter 
part of his life. The stories of his connection with Edward 
Teach can be easily traced to the enmity and ceaseless oppo- 
sition of Edward Moseley. In 1718 Moseley and Colonel 
Maurice Moore went to Edenton, then the seat of governmenl, 
and by violence possessed themselves of all the papers in the 
office of the Secretary of the Province, then in the custody of 
John Lovick. They were promptly arrested, and Moore, plead- 
ing trniltv, was fined nominally and released. Moselev stood his 
trial, was convicted and lined one hundred pounds, was disbarred 
as a lawyer and declared incapable of holding any office or trust 
for three years, and he was further ordered to give security for 
his good behavior for one year.* While smarting under this 
punishment he charged that Governor Eden had arrested honesl 
men, but failed to make any arrest in the case of Black-Beard, 
the pirate. 

Edward Teach or Black-Beard had long made the coast of 
North Carolina and the inland waters the scenes of his infamous 
piracies. He was an Englishman, born in Bristol. In L713 he 
was a privateersman. Even before that time he had been a 
pirate. At one time he had a squadron consisting of the Queen 

*Martin, vol. il. page tistl. 


Anne's Revenge, mounting forty guns and carrying one hundred 
men, with six other vessels. From the Cape Fear to Holliday's 
[sland in Chowan River, were scattereJ the different retreats to 

which he cMinc from off the high seas i" ( ■ 1 1 j ' > \ his booty. He 
did at one time approach Eden House to plead the King's pro- 
clamation offering pardon to those who would abandon their 
buccaneering ways, and thus secured the Governor's certificate, 
but he soon returned to his evil habits. Lieutenant Robert May- 
nard of the Royal Navy, was sent by Captain Ellis Brand, then 
commanding in the waters of Virginia, with two sloops, in search 
of Teach. In the month of November, Maynard passed into 
Ocracoke and steered for Pamlico River. He soon came upon 
the pirate, who was fully apprized of his approach. Both parties 
reserved their fire until within close gunshot, when Black-Beard 
opened upon his antagonist. Maynard attempted t<> run him 
down, hut his v< — el got aground and was horribly raked bv the 
enemy's broadsides, a single one of which disabled twenty men. 
The conditio!) of the King's vessel seemed now almost hopeli - 
The pirate raked it from stem to stern with his fire and no gun 
could be brought to hear upon him l>ut one or two in the end of 
the ship. Amidst his slaughtered crew Maynard was cool 
enough to adopt a strategem which resulted in his victory. He 
ordered his men below and Teach, seeing the deck of his antago- 
oisl cleared, except of dead and wounded men, approached 
and called for hoarders. As his desperate outlaws crowded over 
the bulwarks of the -hip they were met by the royal sailors, who 
sprang forward at the order of Maynard. I [e and Teach haviug 
emptied their pistols at each other, drew their dirk- and foughl 
at close quarters. The captain of the pirates fell covered with 
wounds. Of the seventeen outlaw- who hoarded the King's 
vessel, nine were dead upon the deck, beside their captain, and 
eight were so badly wounded that the} could nol continue the 
struggle and cried for mercy. Attention was then turned to 
those of the pirates who were yet upon their craft. The officer 
left in command was slain, but had given direction- to a negro to 


blow up the ship if necessary to prevent her capture. He \\;i~ 
with difficulty restrained from carrying out this order.* 

Edward Teach, pirate and villain as he was, fell fighting with 
a valor worthy of a better cause. His head was severed from 
his body and borne in triumph on the bowsprit of Maynard's 
ship. The crew were carried to Williamsburg, where thirteen of 
them were tried and hanged. Four negroes of that number 
made disclosures, which, added to the declarations of Captain 
Ellis Brand, gravely implicated Tobias Knight, then Chief-Jus- 
tice of North Carolina. He was acquitted by the Council, on 
the testimony of a young man living with him, hut left many 
grounds for suspicion as to his criminal complicity with the 
buccaneers by whom he was accused. 

In 1722 Governor Eden died and was buried at Eden House, 
where his monument can still he seen. His wife had preceded 
him six years. Their only issue was a daughter, named Penelope, 
who became the wife of Governor Gabriel Johnston. Colonel 
Thomas Pollock was again elevated by the Council to the por- 
tion of Chief-Magistrate. He was still Lord Carteret's deputy. 
He did not long survive his late chief, but died August 30th, 
1722. There had been an Assembly held at Edenton two years 
before, in which little had been effected. \Villi;im Swann, of 
New Hanover, presided as Speaker. f He was the third of hi- 
distinguished family raised to that position. 

Note. — The records of the Swann family, in the hands of Horatio Davis, Esq., 
<.(' Chatham, Virginia, show that William Swann was the eldest son of Samuel 
Swann and his wife Sarah, the daughter of Governor William Drummond. 
This Samuel Swann was the first of the name in North Carolina. His grand- 
father, William Swann, had Keen collector of the royal cust S in Virginia and 

he became the occupant of the same office at Edenton, where the office was 
known until the Revolution as that of Roanoke. He was Speaker of ||„. 
House of Assembly prior to the time, from which we possess records, 171">. 
He had nine children by his first marriage. Two of these, William and 
Thomas, were Speakers of the Lower House of Assembly. He was horn Mas 
11th, 1653, and was son of Colonel Thomas Swann, of Virginia, and his wife, 

*Hawks, vol. 11, page 276; Martin, vol. 1. page 284. 

fPnhlie Acts, page -'>. 


I lc was the brother of Thomas Swann, afterwards distinguished 
as a lawyer and politician, and son <>f the firel Samuel Swann. 
He was the friend and adherent <>f I'M ward Moseley, who was .-till 
under political disabilities for the late escapade in which he and 
Colonel Maurice Moore had come t«» grief. The Swanns were 
originally domiciled among the early settlers In Virginia. Some 
of them had been collectors of the royal customs in thai province. 
Upon the removal of Samuel Swann to Albemarle, he was ap- 
pointed to the same office at Edenton. This was about the period 
of the advent of the first Maurice Moore, who had become a prom- 
inent citizen before the Tuscarora war of 171 1, ami who, as has 
been already stated, went in charge of the North Carolina levies 
against the Yemassees four years later. Moore married the 
widow of Thomas Swann, who was the daughter of Governor 
Alexander Lillington.* 

Upon the death of Governor Pollock, William Reed, as Presi- 
dent of the Council, composed of Judge ( !. Gale, John and 
Thomas Lovick and Captain Richard Sanderson, became Gov- 
ernor. Little is known of \{v^\^ and he was ( !hief-Magistrate of 
the province only for a few months. The Assembly met ;it 
Edenton October 2nd. Edward Moseley'- political disabilities 
had been removed, and he resumed the Speaker'- chair. f He 
had also returned to hi> practice of the law.J 

Sarah Cod. He married a second wife May L9th, 1698, Elizabeth, daughter 
of Major Alexander Lillington, President of the Council, :it thai time widow 
• it Colonel John Bandall. By ilii- marriage \wn- born t<> him Elizabeth, 
afterwards wife of John Baptist Ashe, Sarah, Samuel, who was also i" U- 
Speaker and the greatest man of the name, and Major John Swann, who like 
all tliis singularly gifted family was to attain distinction. The second Samuel 
Swann was born < October :il-t. 1704, and married .lane Jones of Virginia, and 
left three children. Edward Mos< ley married \nnc Lillington, aunt of Samue 
ami John Swann. who was widow of Henderson Walker, who, like her father, 
was President of the Council and Governor of Albemarle. J. B. Ashe lefl 
three children, John, Samuel and Mary, wife of George Moore. Her daugh- 
ter married Thomas I tavis, grandfather of < leorge I \a\ is, now of Wilmington> 
and Horatio I >a\ i-. of Virginia. 

Si itement of Captain Samuel \. Lshe, of Raleigh. 
|-Public lets, page 29. {Hawks, vol. [I, page HI. 


Early in the eighteenth century immigration to America was 

increased by the condition of affairs in Great Britain. The long 
experience in misfortune of the unhappy Stuarts had culminated 
in the person of .lames II. With an insane and stubborn folly 
that will be a marvel to all succeeding ages, this man had perse- 
vered in his attempt to force the Roman Catholic religion upon 
the English, until the people, in their might, drove him from the 
throne. Queen Anne, the last sovereign of the race had died. 
Marlborough had come home from all his victories, to find a new 
dynasty in England, and himself a proscribed man. King 
George and his Dutch mistresses had well-nigh recalled the 
banished Pretender. Britain was a volcano ready to burst forth. 
Men, then as they have always done, loved quietude. America 
offered her pathless woods to many an anxious heart, and thue 
the young empire of the west gained strength in the distractions 
of the Old World. 

After the close of the Indian war of 1711, the white people 
of North Carolina suffered no further from the incursions of the 
savage. Handcock and his braves were far awav by < meida lake. 
In our limits, the pride of the Tusearora was forever broken ; and 
the Bertie peninsula soon grew into conspicuous strength, both 
in wealth and population. 

North Carolina was then divided into three counties, Albe- 
marle^ Bath and Clarendon. These wen' subdivided into pre- 
cincts. It was determined by the General Assembly that a new 
precinct should be erected west of the Chowan. It is uncertain 
from whom it derived its name. James Bertie was, at that time, 
one of the Lords Proprietors, and owner of the share originally 
granted to the Earl of Clarendon. Henry Bertie held thai 
which was first owned by Sir William Berkeley. In an ancient 
book titled "The Public Acts of the General Assembly of North 
Carolina," is found the following enactment: 

"Whereas that part of Albemarle county on tin' west side <•{' 
the Chowan River, being part of Chowan precinct, is inhabited 
almost to the utmost of said county westward, and by reason of 
the remote situation thereof, the inhabitant.-, which are growing 


\w\ numerous, cannot, without too greal iuconvenience, !><■ con- 
tinued any longer as part of the Chowan precinct. 

"Wherefore, be it enacted by his Excellency, the Palatine and 
the reel of the true and absolute Lords Proprietors of the pro- 
vince of ( !arolina, by ami with the advice and consent of the rest 
ot' the members of the General Assembly, now met at Edenton, 
at Queen Anne'- Creek, in ('In. wan precinct, for the northeast 
part ot' the said province, and it i- hereby enacted by the au- 
thority of the same, that that part of Albemarle county 
lying <>n the west side of Chowan River, being part of Chowan 
precinct, bounded to the northward by the line dividing this 
government from Virginia, and to the Southward by the Albe- 
marle Sound, and Morattock River, as far up as Welche's ( Ireek, 
and then including both sides of the said river, and the branches 
thereof, as far as the limits of this government be, and the same 
is hereby declared to be erected into a precinct, by the name 
of Berti< precinct, in Albemarle county: with all and every the 
rights and privileges and other benefits and advantages whatso- 
ever a- any other of the four precincts in Albemarle can or may 
have, use or enjoy." 

At the same session, it was enacted thai the justices of the 
several precincts should forthwith purchase land and erect court 
houses in each of the precincts. The act declares that the courts, 
up to that time, had been held in private houses, but that build- 
ings not less than twenty-four feet lone.- and sixteen feet wide 
-hoiild he immediately constructed at the following point.-, to- 
w it : 

" For the precinct of ( Jhowan, at Edenton ; for the precincl of 
Perquimans, at Jonathan Phelp's point at the mouth of the 
Narrows; for the precinct of < lurrituck, on the land of William 
Peyner; for the precincts of Beaufortand Hyde, at Bathtown; 
for the precincl of Craven, at New-Bern; for the precincl of 
Carteret, at Beaufort Town ; for the precinct of Bertie, at Bome 
convenient place at Ahoskie, w here the justices -hall appoint." 

Public \<t- page 


That place in Bertie precinct, long since known as St. John's, 

was selected under this statute. It took its name from the Chapel 
of St. John, which Mas for years the only house of worship 
west of Chowan River. 

Main' indications point to Ahoskie Ridge as the portion of 
Bertie county that was earliest in its settlement. Its remarkable 
fertility attracted the attention of immigrants, and early in the 
eighteenth century it became a centre of considerable wealth and 
refinement. The courts as then arranged, and as late as 1806, 
required the presence of" the Superior Judges, only at Edenton, 
for the whole county of Albemarle. Justices of the Peace held 
courts of quarter sessions in each of the precincts. 

Note. — A venerable record of the Superior Court, held in Edenton in L723, 
shows that John Cotton, Esq., had .sued John Grey, of Bertie precinct, gentle- 
man. This matter had gone up by appeal, from a precinct court, held at the house 

of James Howard, at "Ahoteky," on Tuesday, the 14th day of May, in that 
year. George Wynns was summoned as a witness to testify on the matter in 
controversy. The subject of this lawsuit, a disputed land patent, is of no in- 
terest to this generation, but not so with the names of those parties. John 
Grey, who is mentioned as defendant, was an ancestor of the family still in 
Bertie. George Wynns was the first of the name of a house long afterward 
potent in its influence with the people of Hertford county. Tin- < lottons ami 
their descendants have been for nearly two centuries inhabitants of the St. 
John's section. John Cotton's kinsman and contemporary, Captain Arthur 
Cotton, was for long years vestryman at the old Episcopal chapel. H<- came 
from England early in the century, and until about 1750 made voyages as 
commander of a ship that plied between the colony and the mother country. 
In his old age he built the first brick house ever erected in Hertford county, 
and died in affluence. Though a vestryman in the Church, this ancient 
mariner was celebrated for his quick temper, and probably visited the army 
in Flanders sometime in his life. He was no great admirer of kings, and had 
bitter cause for resentment. His father's kinswoman, the gentle and lovely 
Lady Alice Lisle had suffered death at the hands of the Judge Jeffreys, in 
the Bloody Assize. The noblest ladies of his court vainly implored King 
James to spare her life. Captain Cotton lived at Mulberry Grove, where 
three generations of Beverlys had preceded him in its occupancy. Be mu-t 
have appreciated the good things of this lite, lor his punch bowl of cut glass, 
yet in the hands of his descendant-, is not only elaborate in gilded ornamen- 
tations, but of ample proportions. 

The Rev. Mathias Brickell was for many years rector of Si. John'- Chapel. 
He and his brother, Dr. John Brickell, the naturalist, physician and historian 


George Burrington opened his commission and qualified as 
Governor at Edenton January 14th, 1724. Hi- appointment 
illustrated the indifference and incapacity for good uniformly ex- 
hibited by the Lords Proprietors in their interference with the 
affairs of a province, -till cursed with their control. Ten thou- 
sand people were subjected by their fiat, to the dominion of a 
man, who, in addition to notorious ignorance and profligacy, had 
been publicly humiliated at the Old Bailey, by conviction and 
imprisonment, for infamously assaulting and beating an old 
woman. His firsl lolly as Governor was his quarrel with Presi- 
dent Reed and John Lovick. He removed Christopher Gale 
from his place as Chief-Justice, and appointed Thomas Pollock, 
son of the distinguished man lately deceased. In this year tin 
subjecl of the Virginia boundary was at la.-t settled alter the 
abundant negotiations which had preceded it. Colonel William 
Byrd, Richard Fitz-William and William Dandridge on the 
part of the Old Dominion, and Judge Gale, Edward Moseley 
and John Lovick for North Carolina, were the Commissioners. 

came with Governor Burrington to Carolina.* While the elder remained at 
Edenton, the first rector of St. John's passed on t" his newly created 

I Ie was the first clergyman who had care of souls west of the < !how an Ki\ er. 
Much of that region's subsequent fame for the morality and intelligence of its 
people, was owing to the efforts of this able and godly man. 1 1 1 ■ not only 
possessed culture and high -oci;d qualities, but what was remarkable for men 
of his cloth at that day, created in the mind- of hi- people that love and con- 
fidence so essential to the ministry. His church at Ahoskie, each Sabbath, 
-aw collected the people of the surrounding country; and tradition -ay-, for 
many years after lie had gone to his final reward, tin- Chapel of St. John still 
continued a centre of religions attraction. Rev. Math ias Brickell died years 
before the Revolution, but left descendants, who have preserved hi- blood in 
our midst until the present day. His oldest -on. Colonel Matt Brickell, was 
a leading man in the count} in the years preceding the war of 1775. He was 
a member of the three first provincial Congresses, ami died in tin' midst of 
the great struggle. One of his daughters married Colonel Hardy Murfree. 
The other was the wife of Major John Brown, who lived upon Cuttawiskey 

Rev. Dr. I". M. Hubbard's Address on North Carolina History. 


Alexander Irvin and William Mayo of Virginia, and Edward 
Moseley and Samuel Swann of our State, were the surveyors.* 
They began the work March 5th, 1728, at Currituck Inlet. 
After incredible difficulties they crossed the great Dismal Swamp, 
and Moseley triumphed in his difficulty with the Virginia survey- 
ors, and forced even Colonel Byrd to admit that he was rieht, and 
that there was error of near thirty minutes either in the Virginia 
instruments or in surveyors Irvin and Mayo. Moseley was in- 
domitable and intelligent in the wilderness as a surveyor, in the 
courts as an advocate and as a party leader in the Assembly. 

Governor Burrington continually immersed himself into 
deeper trouble and confusion until in May, 1725, his Council 
having cited certain of his enemies to trial, the Governor de- 
clined the contest and retired precipitately after nominating Eld- 
ward Moseley as his successor. The Council ratified this recom- 
mendation and the fortunes of Carolina were directed by the old 
supporter of Thomas Carey until July 17th, when Sir Richard 
Everard produced his commission and qualified as Governor at 
Edenton. This weak and pompous old man was but a small 
advance upon the virtues of Burrington. The last Assembly in 
proprietary rule that ever convened in Carolina met at Edenton 
November 27th, 1728. It formed the precincts of Tyrrel and 
New Hanover and issued forty thousand pounds more of paper 
money. Parliament had been convinced that English trade 
would be benefitted by the Crown's assuming control of aflairs 
in all the colonies. Led by this belief the House of Commons 
addressed the throne in 1728, imploring the King to buy of the 
Proprietors the Province of Carolina, and voted money for the 
purchase. Seven of the Proprietors, for the sum of forty-five 
thousand dollars, sold all their rights in the soil and franchises 
conveyed in the charter of Charles II. They were, in 172s. 
James Bertie, Duke of Beaufort and Noel Somerset, his la-other, 
the Earl of Craven, John Cotton, Sir John Colleton's heirs and 
Henry Bertie, Mary Dawson and Elizabeth Moore, who repre- 
sented the share originally granted to Sir William Berkeley. 
Lord Carteret refused to sell his share. 1 

*Westover Manuscript. ; Martin, vol. 1. page •"•"■J. 



\ . D. 1 7 -J'.' TO 1754. 

Colonial disgust at European interference — Lord Carteret retains his rights as 
Proprietor — Population of North Carolina at the royal assumption of gov- 
ernment Territorial divisions- George Burrington again Governor— His 
quarrel with John I!. Ashe— North and South Carolina declared separate 
governments — Dr. John Brickell goes <m a mission to the < Iherokees— Bur 
rington departs and President Bice succeeds— Governor Gabriel Johnston 
arrives and is sworn in — 1 1 is character — French encroachments in 
America — Assembly at New-Bern — Four hundred men Bent to General 
Oglethorp for the St. Augustine expedition— Assembly and Legislature "t' 
L741— John Hodgson, Speaker, is succeeded by Colonel Samuel Swann— 
War with France — Charles Edward and Culloden — Fort Johnston con- 
structed — Revision of the Statutes -Superior Courts established at Edenton, 
New-Bern, Wilmington and Enfield -The Highlanders of 17 1". settle in 
Cumberland — Changes in representation in Bouse of Assembly- -Other forts 
erected -Samuel Johnston — J a me- Davis and the first printing press "Yel- 
low Jacket " edition of the Statute — I teath of Governor t labriel Johnston — 
Population and wealth of North Carolina — President Bice assumes the 
government until hi- death, when Colonel Rowan succeeds Major George 
Washington is heard of in Western Virginia— -Colonel [nnes Bent with a 
regiment against the French at Fort Duquesne — Virginians groin jealous 
at hi- being made commander-in-chief -Return of the North Carolina 
regiment. • 

The early history of the province of North < Carolina is foil of 
examples to Bhow the futility of mere theories in the government 
of men. Joint Locke, the wisest and best of ;tll his cotempo- 
raries, at the requesl of Lord Ashley, framed an elaborate system 
-•ailed the Fundamental ( Constitutions. This scheme was adopted 
and promulgated by the Lords Proprietors, as the organic law 
of the land. It fell Btill-born upon our ancestors, and became a 
dead-letter in less than a decade after it- adoption. The stern 
men who were encountering hardships and facing death continu- 
ously amid the wily Tuscaroras, formed a system for themselves, 


and scorned the very names of Palatine, Cacique, Landgrave, 
eve.* The rule of the Lords Proprietors was full of contention, 

and consequent disgust to those nobles and gentlemen, who were 
through the royal grace, the liege lords of our province. Small 
profits and infinite annoyance had been the almost unbroken ex- 
perience of them all. It was supposed the unruly provincials 
could be better controlled by the direct authority of the Crown; 
so in 1729 all of the Proprietors but Lord Carteret sold to the 
King for the sum of forty-five thousand dollars, their whole righl 
and title in North Carolina. One of the Lords Proprietors, who 
joined in this surrender, was an English barrister, John Cotton. 
Esq., of the middle Temple, London. He represented the in- 
terest originally granted to Lord Ashley. He was the grandson 
of the Rev. Thomas Cotton — the father of Lady Lisle. In tin 
time of his proprietorship several of his kinsmen were induced 
to emigrate to Bertie and the surrounding precincts. The whole 
population of the province at that time did not exceed ten 
thousand persons. 

Lord Carteret, who refused to convey his title, was assigned 
the northeastern portion of the State. He continued his land 
offices and received quit-rents until the breaking out of tin Revo- 
lution. In the present century, Lord Granville, his heir, had a 
suit depending in the Circuit Court of the United State- at 
Raleigh. It went by appeal to the Supreme Court at Washing- 
ton, and upon the death of Francis S. Key, Lord Granville's 
counsel, was dismissed for want of an appeal bond. ! 

Thus ended the proprietary government of North Carolina. 

'■Note. — These were titles of nobility contained in the Grand Model. Thi 
oldest of the Lords Proprietors was called Palatine, ami was tin- head or 
President of those claiming under the Great Deed of Grant. < >ne Landgrave 
and two Caciques were apportioned t" each county, and ex-officio members "i 
the Provincial Parliament. The scheme of Locke further created seven other 
great offices, to-wit : Admiral, Chamberlain, Constable, Chief- Justice, High 
Steward and Treasurer. 

fGov. Swain's Lecture on the Regulators 


Sixty-six years had elapsed Bince it was established. The pro- 
vince contained about twenty-five thousand people, ten thousand 
of whom wen- in the northern and fifteen thousand in the south- 
ern portion. Albemarle was divided into Currituck, Pasquo- 
tank, Perquimans, Chowan, Bertie and Tynvl. Bath county 
Into the precincts of Beaufort, Hyde, Craven and Carteret. 
Clarendon had but one precinct, called New Hanover, with a 
population of about five hundred persons. Among these, how- 
ever, were Cornelius Harnett, John Baptists Ashe, William and 
Thomas Swann and Colonel Maurice Moore, all men of weight 
and consideration in the affairs of the infant commonwealth.* 
Four towns had a legal establishment. These were Eden- 
ton, Bath, Xew-Bcrn and Beaufort. The General Court met 
twice a year, at Edenton ; at which place the Assembly 
had convened for several teniis.f The precinct or County 
Courts held quarterly sessions at the points designated by the 
Legislature in 1722 and at subsequent sessions. Edward 
Moseley was generally Speaker of the House until 1727, when 
he was sueeeeded by John B. Ashe. Thomas Swann. a younger 
brother of William, was Speaker ill 1729. % King Greorge I. re- 
amed George Burrington to hi- position as Governor of North 
Carolina. It was an ungracious foretaste of the rule of the testy 
old Hanoverian, who had so much disgusted the English with 
his bad manner- and Dutch mistresses. Burrington arrived at 
Edenton in 1731. He soon became incensed with John B. Ashe 
and had him arrested tor libel. He was released from Edenton 
jail by Chief-Justice William Little and his associates, for which 
the judges wen censured and some of them removed. The 
Governor had a redoubtable adversary in Ashe, who was joined 
by Nathaniel Rice and John Montgomery in a memorial to lli-- 
Crown. This paper averred that Burrington had appropriated 
two horses belonging to Ashe, and branded them in lli- Exoel- 

G ivernor Burringtoo'e Dispatches. ^Martin, vol. I. page 304. 

; Public Acta, page '11 . 


lency's mark. This charge resulted in the abdication of a ruler 
liable to so infamous an imputation.* 

North and South Carolina had been for a long while practi- 
cally two governments. For the first time in their history a legal 
separation was effected at London as to the affairs of the two 
colonies which were in future to be recognized and treated as 
different communities. 

An Assembly was called and met at Edenton April loth, 
1731. It was to concert measures for sending out a joint 
mission with that of Sir Alexander Gumming to the Cherokees. 
Dr. John Brickell, with a company of ten white men and two 
Indians, was selected for this service.f This party penetrated 
far into what is now the State of Tennessee, and were charmed 
with the beauty of the country and the kindness of the natives. 
Dr. Brickell lived at Edenton, where he practiced medicine. 
William Little was succeeded as Chief-Justice by William Smith. 
In the spring of 1734, under pretence of a visit to South Caro- 
lina, Governor Burrington went to England, and there he was 
soon afterwards murdered. In his dispatches to the Board of 
Trade, he was ceaseless in his animadversions on the community 
at large and the prominent individuals of the colony which he 
was sent to rule. The government, upon Burrington's departure, 
devolved upon Nathaniel Rice, President of the Council. In 
October, Gabriel Johnston arrived in the Cape Fear River, and on 
November 2nd, at Brunswick, he took the oaths of office as < rov- 
ernor of North Carolina.^ 

Spencer Compton, Baron of Wilmington, in all his life per- 
formed no act of greater beneficence and wisdom than procuring 
so excellent a governor for the people of North Carolina. < }a- 
briel Johnston was of goodly lineage and training in his native 
land of Scotland. He had been a physician, afterward- a Professor 
in St. Andrew's University, and finally, having gone to London, 

*Colonel Wheeler's Men and Times <>!' Albemarle. 
fMartin, vol. II, page 4. 
JWheeler, vol. I, page 43. 


he became a politician and contributed to the columns of TJu 
( 'rafts, i, a a, a journal in which Bolingbroke, Pulteney and 
others lavished upon London so much wit, eloquence and ridicule 
of the Hanoverians. He was a wise and honorable man. Hav- 
ing called an Assembly, his address proved thai he had correct 
knowledge and appreciation of the wants of the province and 
every disposition to remedy the evils. His character was in 
marked contrast with the imprudence and folly of his predecessor, 
and soon won the acknowledgment of its purity and ability. 
Of all the colonial magistrates he was by far the ablest and best. 
He married Penelope Eden, daughter of the late Governor,and 
took up bis residence at her place on Salmon Creek. IIi> 
brother, John Johnston, the Surveyor General, lived near Rieh 
Lands in Onslow county, where he had large possessions. His 
wife was Helen Scrymsoure. He came to North Carolina in 
17:51! from Dundee in Scotland.* 
There was considerable uneasiness felt at this time throughout 


the English settlements of America at the daring policy and en- 
croachment.- of the French, but North Carolina experienced 
nothing but peace and prosperity. The wise Governor saw many 
evils to reform ami met tin- Assembly of 1736 with an elaborate 
address. He deplored the absence of religious principle and 
practices among the people. He called their attention to their 
want of educational means, to the loose and contradictory legifi- 
lation contained in detached papers, some unintelligible ami 
others offending the commonest rule- <>f grammar. The jail- 
were so insecure that the escape of malefactors was of frequent 
occurrence. I !<• besought them to discountenance faction, remedy 
the evils of the province and to build up :i direct trade with 
Great Britain. He concluded by observing that he should main- 
tain th< rights and just revenues >>\' the Crown, bul at the same 
line have :i tender regard for the privileges, happiness and liber- 
ties of the people. " apprehending that they were oot in the least 
inconsistent with each other. " The upper I louse responded favor- 

McRee'e Life of Iredell, eol. I. page 36. 


ably to this address in spite of Edward Moseley and Cullen 
Pollock, who opposed the reforms. Moseley, though not a mem- 
ber of the House of Assembly, had influence enough to thwart 
the Governor therein.* 

The Legislature met for the first time in this administration 
March 6th, at New-Bern. A poll tax of five shillings per head 
on all tithable inhabitants was granted the King. Ten thous- 
and dollars were appropriated for repairing the court house and 
building a jail at Edenton and for the preservation of the records 
of the General Court at that place. Circuit Courts were ap- 
pointed for New-Bern and for the village on Cape Fear, the 
name of which was the next year, at the Governor's request, 
changed from Newton to Wilmington, as it has ever since been 

William Downing of Bertie, presided a- Speaker of the House 
of Assembly at this time. A considerable prosperity was evi- 
dent in every portion of the large and fertile peninsula so lately 
erected as the westernmost of the counties. Colonel Byrd speaks, 
in his journal, of the boundary survey, of the evident advance- 
ment and prosperity of its inhabitants, which he declared sur- 
passed any portion of the populated districts through which the 
boundary commission had passed from Currituck Inlet to that 
point. - 

War was declared by England against Spain in 1740. Move- 
ments were concerted for participation on the part of the colonies. 
General Oglethorpe, the gallant and humane Governor of Geor- 
gia, was ordered to threaten the Spanish possessions in Florida. 
He at once determined upon an expedition against St. Augustine, 
and requested help of the Governors of North and South Caro- 
lina. Four hundred men were levied by Governor Johnston, 
and, with additional forces from Virginia and South Carolina, 
formed the fine regiment under Colonel Vanderdussen. They 
first operated in the ineffectual attack upon St. Augustine, and 

*Martin, vol. II. page 23. 


ultimately, having been transferred to the Island of Jamaica, 
participated in the glories and disasters of Admiral Vernon's 
Biege of Carthagena. Notwithstanding poverty, and want of a 
circulating medium, the General Assembly warmly seconded 
Governor Johnston in these military measures, and freely voted 
supplies for the subsistence and transportation of the North 
Carolina troops in the royal Bervice. The tax to meet these 
unusual expenses, in consequence of the scarcity of money, wae 
partially levied in provisions, and warehouses for receiving com- 
modities were erected in eaeh county. 

The General Assembly of 1741 was prolific in important legis- 
lation.* Useful acts were passed regulating marriage, the rate 
of interest, damages on foreign hills, roads and navigation, 
weights and measures, trial of small eases, regulation of taverns, 
and for the better management of prisoners. The statute touch- 
ing the better keeping of the Sabbath and for the suppression of 
vice is a quaint monument to the good intentions of those ancient 
Legislators. It provided that every person should, on Sunday, 
carefully apply himself to the duties of religion. All work 
and amusements were forbidden on a penalty of fourteen shil- 
lings. Profane -wearing in the hearing of a Justice of the 
Peace incurred a penalty of two shillings and sixpence for an 
ordinary person, and in a public officer double that amount for 
each oath. Oaths in the presence of a court of record were to 
be fined ten shillings, and in default, three hours in the stocks. 
Drunkenness on week days forfeited two-and-a-half shillings, 


and double that amount on the Lord's day. Fornication incurred 
a penalty of twenty-five shillings. Single women with child were 
to be committed to prison until disclosing the paternity. The 
imputed father was compelled to give security for its support or 

in default thereof, he was hired out at public auction, 'flic 
statute concluded with a direction making it the duty of clergy- 
men, lay readers and others, to read the statute in all the churches, 
chapel.- and places of religious worship and suggestively added 

M.iriin. vol. 1 1, page 36. 


that as to ministers of the gospel offending ad the above partic- 
ulars, they should not be held absolved from ecclesiastical ••ensure 
and punishment by virtue of this law. 

In the ample and humane legislation of tlie same session, 
touching servants, there were many provisions for the benefit of 
English convicts who had been brought over and sold to the 
colonists for terms of years commensurate with differenl offences 
for which they had been sentenced to transportation. They and 
the negro slaves, while analogous in some respects as to condition, 
were yet far removed as to the prospects of their posterity. The 
late Chief-Justice, William Smith, was President of the Upper 
House in which John Palin, J. Lenoir, J. B. Ashe, C. Harnett, 
J. Lovick, Edmund Gale and Matthew Rowan were members l>\ 
the King's nomination, and Edward Moseley, Cullen Pollock, 
James Hazel and others, by election of the Lower House. John 
Hodgson was Speaker of this and the preceding Assembly, but 
was at the next term to give place to the distinguished lawyer, 
Samuel Swann of New Hanover. He and his brother, Major 
John Swann, were the sons of Samuel Swann.* lie and Ed- 
ward Moseley were the compilers of the " Yellow Jacket " edition 
of the North Carolina statutes and were the leading lawyers of 
their day. For twenty years Samuel Swann was to be almost 
continually Speaker of the House of Assembly, which position 
in colonial times, was next in dignity to that of Governor. Hi- 
sister Elizabeth was the wife of John Baptiste Ashe and lie was 
thus uncle to General John Ashe, and Governor Samuel Ashe, 
and of Mary Ashe, who was the wife of Judge Maurice Moore.1 

The Assembly of 1743 met at Edenton. It amended the 
election laws so that a freehold qualification of fifty acres of land 
was required in those voting lor members of the Lower House, 
and a hundred acres in the member.- themselves. Two year.- be- 
fore this, Bertie county had been dismembered in the erection of 
Northampton. The statute recites that at that period the inhabi- 
tantsof Bertie had become more numerous than any othercountv 

*Stateraent of Captain S. A. Ashe. fWlieeler, vol. II. page --'Tn. 


in the province. The line of the new country ran five miles west of 
the court house of Bertie, then located at St. John's. It was pro- 
vided that a new COUrt house, jail and stocks should Ite erected 

uii Wills' Quarter Branch, near the present town of Windsor. 
This spot was called \\'<.l fenden in compliment to a citizen of 
prominence who dwelt near by. St. John's thus lost its ancient 
importance as the scene of legal contests. The Episcopal < Ihapel 
was still a source of ~< wial refinement and religious instruction. 
It was destined never again to become a shire town, for upon the 
erection of Hertford county, in 17~>!', the court house was estab- 
lished at Winton. John, Lord ( !arteret,soon to become the Karl of 
Granville, petitioned the Bang in 1743 that one-eighth of the 
original province of North Carolina might he reserved to him 
by act of Parliament, offering, in case his tender was accepted, 
to resign his interest in the government of the province and all 
his title to the remaining seven-eights of the soil. George 1. 
accepted the offer, and five commissioners on either side allotted 
his lordship the territory bounded on the north by the Virginia 
line, east by the Atlantic Ocean, southward by a line beginning 
on the coast in latitude thirty-five degrees and thirty-four 
minutes, thence wot to the Pacific Ocean, and westwardly along 
the Pacific coast. 

The year 1744 was signalized by war with France. Charles 
Edward, the grandson of James II.. set up his claim to the Eng- 
lish throne and went to Scotland to make good his title by force 
of arms. In the course of the next year, after routing his 
enemies at Killieerankie and Proton Pan-, he retreated from 
England, and at ( luiloden, in the northern part of Scotland, was 
ruinously defeated l»\ the King's brother, the merciless Duke of 
Cumberland. The Assembly met at New-Bern April *J<>th. 
Attention was given to the defense of the sea-coast, which had 
Keen ravaged bj Spanish cruisers. Governor Johnston, with 
President Pice, Robert Ilalton, Judge E. Allen. Matthew 

Rowan, Edward Moseley, Roger M v, William Forbes, < lolonel 

•Public Act-, page 69. 


.lames Inries, William Faris, Major .John Swann and George 
Moore, were appointed commissioners ti> construct Fort John- 
ston, at the mouth of Cape Fear River, at the point whereon 
Smithville now stands.* Rojjer and George Moore were the 
brothers of General Maurice Moore, and had come with him 
from South Carolina as settlers previous to the Indian war of 
1711. f In the next year Edward Moseley, Samuel Swann, Enoch 
Hall and Thomas Barker were authorized by the Assembly to 
revise and print such acts of the Legislature as were of force in 
the province. The others declining the work, as has been re- 
lated, it was performed by Moseley and Swann.| Enoch I fall 
was Chief-Justice of the General Court. Thomas Barker was a 
lawyer of great abilities, who resided in Edenton. Johnston 
and Granville counties were this year erected, and a new court 
law passed. The General Court was removed from Edenton to 
New-Bern, and Circuit Courts were ordered to be held at Eden- 
ton, New-Bern, Wilmington, and at Enfield in the new county 
of Edgecombe. 

Many of the leading spirits who had been supporters of Prince 
Charles Edward had by this time perished on the scaffold. \ 
general pardon having passed the Great Seal, nineteen-twentieths 
of the prisoners convicted were allowed to be transported to 
America in lieu of capital punishment. Large accessions were 
thus made to the population of North Carolina by these unhappj 
Scotch Highlanders and the friends who chose to accompany 
them in their exile. Of this number was the famous Flora Mc- 
Donald and her husband. Charles Edward owed hi- life to her 
noble and humane efforts. She reached America just previous 
to the breaking out of the Revolution, and made her home at 
Cross Creek, near where the town of Fayetteville now -tan. I-.; 

The Assembly of 1747, at New-Bern, witnessed the effect ><( 
the changes in representation of the Lower House. The counties 
of old Albemarle no longer sent five members each, but fared a- 

*Public Ads, page 70. tGovernor Burlington's Dispatches. 

JPublic A.cts, page 75. gWheeler, vol. It. page 137. 


did the others, which bad heretofore, though sometimes more 
populous, been entitled t<> Inn two. Borough members were 
allowed one each from the town- of Edenton, Bath, New-Bern 
and Wilmington. Attention was called to fresh depredations of 
French and Spanish privateersmen, and other fort- were ordered 
to be constructed at Ocracoke, Topsail and Bear Inlet.-, and fur- 
ther appropriations were made for finishing Fori Johnston. 
Ten thousand dollars were ordered to be placed in the hand- of 
Thomas Barker, Treasurer for the northern counties, by him to 
be expended as (Jovernor Johnston, Ben Peyton, Samuel St. 
( 'lair, Francis Stringer, James Macklewean, John Haywood and 
Peter Payne should direct. Seven thousand five hundred dollars 
were deposited with Edward Moseley, Treasurer of the southern 
counties, likewise to be controlled by the Governor, J. Lovick, 
A. Mabson, J. Olitherall and J. Bell, for the construction of 
Fort ( rranville at Topsail Inlet.* John Haywood, just mentioned, 
lived in Edgecombe county and was the firs! of a family subse- 
quently famous in the State. He was the father of William 
Haywood of Edgecombe and of Judge John Haywood, who 
lived in Halifax until his departure for Tennessee. j" A smaller 
appropriation was placed at the disposal of the Governor, Samuel 
Johnston, Edward Wood, John Starkey and Stephen Lee for the 
work at Bear Inlet. Samuel Johnston was the oldest son of the 
Surveyor < Jeneral, John Johnston, and nephew of the ( Jovernor. 
This was his first mention in public documents. He had been 
Clerk of the General Court at Edenton, was Naval Officer at 
that port and was becoming conspicuous as a lawyer in his part- 
nership with Thomas Barker. He was to rival his uncle in the 
length of his illustrious services to North Carolina and was to 
be even more honored in republican day- than when a favored 

subject of the King. 

In \1 \s a licet of Spanish privateers entered Cape Fear River 
and ravaged its shores. They were attacked by the people of the 

Public V.cU, page 78. ; WIh-.-I.t. vol. II. page 143. 


country as the ships lay off the village of Brunswick and in 
driving them from the stream the assailants succeeded in blow- 
ing up one of the predatory craft, from which a number of ne- 
groes and valuables were taken.* A picture in oil, very well 
executed, was among the spoils and may yet ue seen in the vestry 
room of St. James' Church in Wilmington.! By act of Assem- 
bly of that year the spoils from this gallant defence by the 
men of Cape Fear were appropriated to the churches in Wil- 
mington and Brunswick.^ 

Sir William Berkeley's fervent wishes in regard to printing 
presses lacked fulfillment when in 1749 James Davis came to 
New-Bern and set up the first printing press in North Carolina. 
The Moravians, a new sect in Germany, this year obtained from 
Parliament permission to establish settlements in America. They 
purchased of Lord Granville during the next year a tract of 
land containing one hundred thousand acres between Dan and 
Yadkin Rivers, and named it Wachovia, after an estate of Count 
Zinzendorff, the founder of the sect. Samuel Swann alone, of those 
appointed to the work of revising the laws, persevered to the 
conclusion of the task. The work, handsomely printed and 
bound in a small folio volume, made its appearance in 1752. 
The hue of the leather with which it was covered procured for it 
the appellation of " Yellow Jacket." 

A great misfortune befell the province in the death of Gov- 
ernor Johnston. He died in the month of August, 1 752. In his 
magnanimous and equable disposition the factions of the province 
had well-nigh disappeared. The show of opposition manifested 
by Edward Moseley in the beginning of his administration, soon 
sunk out of sight, and that veteran agitator was followed in pop- 
ular affection by Samuel Swann, who possessed equal abilities 
and a less mischievous disposition. The province had tripled its 
population in the twenty years of his rule, there being in L752 
about twenty thousand whites and half that Dumber of oegr< 

Martin, vol. II, page 53. fLetter from Captain S. A. Ashe, l v 7s 
JMartin, vol. II, page 54. 

64 HlsT'tKY OF NORTH CAEOLIN \ 1752. 

slaves in North ( arolina. The annual exports for 1 1 1 * • same 
period were 61,528 barrels of tar. 12,055 of pitch, 10,429 of 
turpentine, 762,1 ><><> staves, 61,580 bushels of corn, LOO hogsheads 
of tobacco, besides an unknowu quantity of pork, beef and other 
commodities. Tobacco was not cultivated south <>f Edgecombe, 
l>ut was largely produced in Albemarle and the new counties 
next to Virginia. t 

Population had immensely extended its area. The counties of 
Bladen, Anson, Johnston, Granville and Orange had all been 
added and a great advance made towards the setting sun. In 
1 740 the Scotch- Irish Presbyterians began their settlements along 
the water courses known as Eno, Haw and Catawba Rivers.J 
The severity of the established Church in Virginia started the 
emigration movement which extended to Pennsylvania, and 
soon a multitude of brave and Jjodlv men were in the heart of 
the wilderness which stretched from Albemarle to the hunting 
-rounds of the Cherokee-. Lord Granville, after obtaining the 
limits of his grant in 1744, offered, through his agent-, gnat in- 
ducements to settlers. George Selwyn, holding large -rant- on 
the South Carolina line, also through the McCullohs, father and 
-on, effected many sales in the future county of Mecklenburg. 
The Highlanders had come in large numbers from Scotland, 
and had their headquarters at Cross Creek, afterward- Fayette- 
ville. Some few of them stopped in the eastern counties. In 
Hertford, notable among these, was James Fraser, who had a 
-tore at the cro— -road- -till hearing his name. He and John 
Hamilton of Halifax had been supporters of the Pretender and 
were alike the victims of the resentment of King George II. 
and the grim Duke of Cumberland. Hamilton and Fraser be- 
came conspicuous in after years for their loyalty a- they had been 
for the opposite quality in their youth. 

Upon the death of Governor Johnston, the government de- 
volved upon Nathaniel Rice, President of the Council, who had 

Rowan's Dispatches. fMartin, vol. II. pag< 59. 

I .Mil'- Sketches, page 7'.". 


been in the same office on the arrival of the late Chief-Magis- 
trate in 1734. President Rice had been long conspicuous in the 
affairs of the province and being of advanced age, died January 
28th, 1753. Colonel Matthew Rowan of Bladen being the next 
councillor in the order of their nomination by the King, qualified 
as acting-Governor February 1st, and met the Assembly .it New- 
Bern March 23rd.* He was of popular and courtly manners 
and possessed wealth and consideration as a man. Hi- daughter 
married John Hay of Fayetteville,f and was the mother of 
Judge Gaston's first wife.^ The upper portion of Anson was 
this year erected into a new county, bearing his name, and has at 
all subsequent periods been one of the chief centres of intelli- 
gence and influence in North Carolina. 

King George II., like his predecessor on the throne, was a 
foreigner possessing but little intelligence and small knowledge 
of the Constitution and habits of the English people. He com- 
mitted the affairs of the American colonies to the conduct of the 
Duke of Newcastle. This nobleman, apart from his hereditary 
honors, possessed no qualification as a ruler except some common 
sense and good humor. So great was his ignorance that he is 
said to have inquired in the time of the tea troubles, whether 
Boston was not an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Against 
the management of such a man was the cool and masterly con- 
duct of French interests in America. A cordon of forts around 
the entire frontier of the English settlements and the friendship 
of all the Indian tribes, save the Iroquois and Cherokees, were 
ominous enough to North Carolina and her sister colonies. The 
French, it was known, had recently built forts on the head waters 
of the Alabama River, and had made treaties with the (reek-. 
In addition to this, early in January, President Rowan received 
a dispatch by special messenger from Lord Dinwiddie, then Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, stating that Major George Washington had 
recently returned from the Ohio River, and reported the French 

*Martin, vol. II, page 61. \IAfe of Iredell, v.,1. 11. page 139. 

+Eev. Dr. Hooper's Address. " Fifty Year> Ago." 


had taken post and were building a work at Logstown, after- 
wards known as Fort Duquesne. The letter concluded by 
soliciting the aid of men from North Carolina to join (he troops 
then being levied in Virginia and Maryland to march against 
these intruders. A proclamation was immediately issuedforthe 
meeting of the Legislature at Wilmington, February 19th. 
'flic condition of affairs was laid before the Ajssembly, who agreed 
to aid Virginia provided Governor Rowan would assent to the 
issuing of four hundred thousand dollars of new treasury bills. 
This was acceded to, as the acting-t Jovernor could not suffer much 
by the displeasure of the Crown and English merchant-. Two 
hundred thousand dollars having been appropriated lor military 
purposes no time was lost in raising the troop- voted l>y the Assem- 
bly. Colonel James Innes of New Hanover was soon at tin head 
of a fine regiment, numbering nine hundred and fifty men, and 
joined the forces of Virginia and Maryland in their march to the 
Alleghany mountains. ( lolonel Innes commanded the expedition, 
and was ordered to capture Fort Duquesne or to erect a counter- 
vailing work. lie diil not proceed far upon the campaign before 
it was discovered that Governor Dinwiddie and the authorities 
at Williamsburg, had entirely failed to provide quartermaster 
and commissary stores for the expedition. The General Assem- 
bly of that province having closed it.- session with bo fatal a 
negligence, Governor Dinwiddie countermanded the expedition 
and Colonel [noes' regiment was disbanded and returned to 
North ( arolina. 

Colonel Joshua Fry had been commander-in-chief of the 
forces in Virginia. lie died suddenly, and the command de- 
volved upon < lolonel ( reorge Washington of thai province. < rov- 
ernor Dinwiddie appointed Colonel [nnes over Colonel Wash- 
ington to the place made vacant l>\ the death of Colonel Fry. 
This explained the whole extraordinary course of the Virginia 
Burgesses. The hulk of the North Carolinians under Innes 
had been -cut home, hut the Colonel, with three hundred and 

Martin, vol. 1 1. page 66 


fifty of them, was still encamped ;it Winchester, when Colonel 
Washington was superceded in the general command. There 
was immediate and general complain! in the Old Dominion al 
this slight put upon their favorite leader.* Though Colonel 
Innes had done service in the ( 'arthagena expedition, he was still 
very inferior as a commander to the voung hero who was soon to 
become so brilliantly conspicuous on the Monongahela.f The 
Assembly of North Carolina had voted sixty thousand dollars 
for the subsistence of the force under Colonel Innes, but this was 
soon exhausted, and such was the feeling at Williamsburg that 
not a dollar was voted to retain the men who had been sent against 
Fort Duquesne, and they left for their homes to avoid starva- 
tion. Their conduct was unjustly censured by their compatriots in 
the army. The Virginians in 1780 were to be treated very differ- 
ently in North Carolina, where they not only were furnished 
subsistence, but as a matter of courtesy the men <>f King's 
Mountain elected Colonel Campbell to the command. Colonel 
Inues lingered in charge until he died at Winchester, but \\\> 
North Carolina troops were all sent home. 

The year 1754 closed in with a fruitless effort ;it Albany to 
carry out the suggestion of the Board of Trade in regard to 
unity of action among the different colonies in matters of general 

*Sparks' Life of Washington, page 51 
fWashington's Writings, vol. II, page 



A. I». 1754 TO 1765. 

Vnluir Dobbs becomes Governor of North Carolina — I T is antecedents and 
character — John Campbell of Bertie becomes Speaker of the House of As- 
sembly — Death of Edward Moseley — John Starke; succeeds him as South- 
ern Treasurer — His traits and habits — Braddock's defeat — Settlement of 
Anson and other western counties — Hugh BlcAden, Alexander Craighead 
and Shubal Stearns — Sandy Creek and Shiloh Churches— Meherrin 
and Sandy Run — A fort ordered on Yadkin River, in Rowan county — 
Mail route from Suffolk to Wilmington — Colonel Hugh Waddell sent against 
the Cherokees — Governor Dobbs' Tower Hill project— Beginning of the long 
trouble about the Court Laws — Francis Corbin bows the seeds of the Regula- 
tion — Is arrested and carried to Enfield — Erection of Hertford county — The 
troubles with Parliament — State of Bociety- Scarcity of money and high 
taxes — Death of Judge Henley and appointment of Charles I'» rry — Court 
reforms — Riots in Hillsboro and Halifax— Colonel Waddell goes against the 
Cherokees — The Court Law troubles — Accession of King George 111. — Gov- 
ernor Dobbs lb thwarted as to Tower Hill — Peace of 1763 — Growth of 
Calvinism in the West — Death of Samuel SWann — Governor Dobbs applies 
for leave of absence and Lieutenant Colonel William Trvon is sent over as 
Lieutenant-Governor of North Carolina — Death of Governor Dobbs — Mem- 
bers of lii — Majesty's Council of State for North Carolina. 

Governor Arthur Dobbs took the oaths of office at New-Bern 
November 1st, 1754. He was an Irishman, and had been a 
member of the Parliament of that country. lie was of fair 
understanding and possessed some taste in literary matters. He 
had suggested, in 1741, t<> the Admiralty Board, the naval expe- 
dition of Captain Christopher Middleton in search of a north- 
west passage in the Arctic seas. It was perhaps this manifesta- 
tion in geographical discovery which led to his being selected as 
Governor of North Carolina. He was in marked contrast with 
Gabriel Johnston, both in natural endowments and the success of 
his administration. To a punctilious obstinacy, which would 
ruin a province on a point of empty etiquette, he united a devo- 
tion to the royal prerogative which was astonishing in one reared 

1754. GOVERNOR DOBBa 69 

in the atmosphere of Ireland. He was choleric and hasty in hie 

temper, and was to find ample material for continued contest* 
with the House of Assembly until death had released him from 
turmoil. He brought a few pieces of artillery, one thousand 
muskets, and a plentiful supply of his poor relations, who came 
to seek their fortunes under his fostering aid at the expense of 
North Carolina. One of these, his nephew, Richard Spaight, 
was to leave illustrious issue to atone for his hasty temper and 
the Governor's nepotism.* 

The county of Bertie had grown wealthy and populous at this 
time, and was represented in the House of Assembly by John 
Campbell, who was twice honored with election to the Speaker's 

Mr. Campbell had been reared in the town of Colerain in 
Ireland, and named his place on Chowan River in commemora- 
tion of his birth-place. He was a wise and thrifty man and was 
greatly respected as a legislator through many years. 

The large issue of bills of credit authorized by the last Assem- 
bly was committed to the hands of Samuel Swann, Major -John 
Swann, Lewis DeRosset of New Hanover, and John Starkey of 
Onslow, who, upon the death of Edward Moseley^ in 1749, had 

JNote. — The mention of the death of this able and conspicuous actor 
in so much of the early history of North Carolina suggcMs the propriety of 
further comment on his life and services. He lived in troublous times. 
Though a full communicant of the Church of England and warmly attached 
to the real interests of that communion, he was, like Bishop Compton 
and other enlightened men, opposed to the creation of a State Church 
in North Carolina. He warmly espoused the cause of the Quakers, who were 
averse to contributing to the support of the Episcopal preachers sent over 
from England. lie was still more justified in resisting the commercial restric- 
tions. He was the first man to inaugurate an organized opposition t<> the 
power and influence of the royal Governors. Samuel Swann, John Ishe and 
John Harvey continued his jealous watchfulness against foreign interference 
in the local government. Our information concerning him is obtained mainly 
from the correspondence of Governors Spottswood and Pollock, who were hi- 
declared enemies, and their statements should he taken with lull allowance 

^Martin, vol. II. page , ■'.. fPublie A.cts, page 1 Hi. 


succeeded t<> his place a- Treasurer of the southern portion of 
the province.* Mr. Starkey had been lefl executor and 
guardian of the children of the late John Johnston, Surveyor 
General. He was a benevolent and intelligent man, and had 
India priest in the Church of England. He was remarkable 
feu- his thrift and industry, and though thus made a commissioner 
for issuing provincial bills of credit, he was said to hold them 
in sovereign contempt and thoroughly appreciated the value of 
English gold.f He was wealthy, and was accused by Governor 
Dobbs <»f Unduly influencing certain fellow-members of the 
Assembly by lending them money.| Edward Starkey of Ons- 
low, who was a member of the Provincial Congress of I77(i, 
of Governor Caswell's Council, and was Speaker of the House 
of Common- in 178-'>, was his son. Lewi- Delio.-.-et was a 
prominent citizen of Wilmington, which city, through its entire 
history, has known useful men of that name. 

General Braddock reached Williamsburg early in 1755. In 
his dispatch to Lord Holland, then Henry Fox, the English 
Secretary of War, after expressing disgust at Governor J)in- 

for the aatura] effects of such relations. II*.- and John Porter married daughters 
<»f Governor Lillington and were ever entirely agreed as to the policy 
proper !'<>r North Carolina. In the preceding chapters I have fol- 
lowed the statements of Governors Spottswood and Pollock, as did Dr. 
Hawks in Ins history, but the suggestions of a valued friend lead 
me to gravely doubt the whole story of John Porter's connection with the 
Indian massacre of 1711. Ii is highly improbable that he would have been 
so much honored in die House of Assembly in sessions subsequent to that 
event, had the charge been really true. In addition to this 1 am satisfied of 

the truth of a family tradition which avers that one of his children was reseued 

from slaughter only by the bravery and celerity of its mother. John Portei 

wa- at home, and it i- hard to believe that his house would have been attacked 

had he been in league with the Indians. He was a leading member of the 
v. tv Assembly which made this same 22nd of September a day of Basting and 
prayer, and was so closely connected by family ties with so many of the 
leading men of the province thai it i- almost impossible to believe thai he 
could have warranted the terrible charges laid at hi- door. 

Public \d-. page 87. fLife of Iredell, page 86 

| Wheeler, vol. 1 1. page 46. 


widdic's meager preparations, he said that Governor Dobbs, who 

had gone there to meet him was satisfied with North Carolina's 
action of the previous year, and of that province's loyal aid in 
the future. Though Colonel Innes had been thwarted, and had 
subsequently died at Winchester, Colonel Hugh Waddell, with 
a smaller force, started to join the expedition, but was not in the 
disastrous defeat sustained by General Braddock near Fort Du- 
quesne.* He was recalled to repel the Cherokees in their attack 
upon Old Fort, and thus escaped that scene of overthrow and 
butchery. t 

Governor Dobbs, during the summer of 1755, visited the 
western counties of the province. A great tide of population 
from Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Europe was 
steadily pouring into the beautiful valleys and hill country of that 
healthful and fertile region. The Moravians^ established them- 
selves around Salem. The new county of Rowan rapidly Idled 
up with men and women as entirely devoted to their religion- 
duties as to the vindication of their civil liberties. Rev. Hugh 
McAden had come down after his graduation at Nassau Hall, 
and was at this very time establishing the church at Sugar Creek 
over which Alexander Craighead was to preside as first pastor.^ 
But the Calvinists Avere inferior in numbers to the Baptists, who 
at this period had a church at Sandy Creek, in the neighboring 
county of Orange, which numbered more than six hundred mem- 
bers, under the pastoral charge of Rev. Shubal Stearns.|| The 
same sect had established a congregation at the point now known 
as Shiloh, in Pastiuotank county, as early as 1729.* Six years 
later Joseph Parker, ordained by this church, had established. 
where Murfreesboro now stands, the church still known as 

*Judge Murphy's Historical Memoranda, and Jones' Defence, page -I 

fStatement of Colonel A. M. Waddell. 

{Martin, vol. II, page 83. 

§Foote's Sketches, page 189. 

||Governor Swain's War of Regulation. 

**John Comer's Journal, 1729. 


Meherrin.* This church granted letters of dismission in 1750 
to the membership constituted into another Baptist congregation 
known as Sandy Run, in Bertie. Rev. Matthias Brick ell had de- 
parted this life, and was succeeded in charge of the < !hapels of St. 

.John and St. Luke, or Buck horn, in Hertford county that was 
to be, by Rev. Win. ( rurley. 

Governor Dobbs, upon his return from the west, met the 
Assembly at New-Bern September 25th. In hi> address he ex- 
hibited full appreciation of the dangers threatening English 
aseendanev. France had established a cordon of forts along the 
St. Lawrence, past the lakes, down the Mississippi and along the 
Southern frontier. They had made friends of every great Indian 
tribe, and converted the previously formidable hostility of the 
Iroquois into a neutrality which was ominous of a closer alliance 
if the war continued. Braddock's defeat, and the criminal folly 
of Governor Lyttleton of South Carolina, had aroused the 
Cherokees into active hostility against the western settlements. 
Governor Dobbs recommended the establishment of a fort near 
the South Yadkin, in Rowan county. t The Legislature ap- 
proved of the proposition and voted fifty thousand dollars for 
the erection of the work and for the raising of three companies 
of infantry to serve for the war. A post-route was established 
from Suffolk, Virginia, by way of Edenton and New-Bern, to 
Wilmington, being the first facility of the kind ever known in 
the province. 

The two succeeding years were marked by do specially im- 
portant events. Colonel Waddell was sent with a battalion in 
an expedition against the Cherokees, where Captain Dennie was 
in great danger of capture :it Fort Tellico.J The next year 
William Pitt became Prime Minister and Admiral Boscawen 
and Sir Jeffrey Amherst came with such forces as reassured the 
desponding A.mericans.§ The Assembly at New-Bern in 1758 
voted supplies for tin • North Carolina force- then under General 

I>r. S. .1. Wheeler's Hietorj of Meherrin. {-Martin, vol II. page 82. 
(Martin, vol. II. pagi - I ncrdft, vol. IV, page 294. 




Forbes in his movement against Fort Duquesne.* That officer, 
whose sands of life were fast running out, retarded the expedi- 
tion by his incapacity, so that September had come before they 
reached Raystown. Colonel George Washington commanded 
the Virginians, but was not present with the force entrusted to 
Major Grant when Aubry and his French troops so disastrously 
checked that rash officer's advance. The success of the expedi- 
tion was due to Washington's skill, as in Braddock's campaign 
it was the safety of the small remnant which then escaped. f 

A most marvelous and inexplicable incident occurred in the 
Legislature of this Assembly. The seat of government had 
been latterly nomadic in North Carolina. The Legislature 
vibrated between Edenton, New-Bern and Wilmington. The 
Governor resided where best pleased him, and so did every other 
officer of the province. The house in Edenton which had been 
long used for the sessions of the General Court, and is still s«> 
much admired for its tine proportions, was in 1758 yet large 
enough for the accommodation of the State Assembly. In New- 
Bern and Wilmington were also many facilities for the accommo- 
dation of the sessions. It is then surprising that a ruler possessing 
so little personal popularity could have induced the Legislature 
to select his farm,. in the wilds along Contentnea Creek, as the 
future seat of government.^ This spot, now known as Snow 
Hill, in Greene county, had been called by the Tuscaroras 
Xahucke, and was the scene of their last defeat by Colonel 
James Moore. Governor Dobbs named it Tower Hill, which 
was an unfortunate appellation, and suggestive of martyrdom and 
the wasted blood of heroes. Sir William Wallace, Sir Thomas 
More, Sir Walter Raleigh and Algernon Sidney had all been 
beheaded on another Tower Hill. But graver objections than 
that of a mere name should have led such men as Samuel 
Swann, Matthew Rowan and Samuel Johnston to have defeated 
the transparent jobbery of the scheming Governor.|| 

*Martin, vol. II, page 93. 
JPublic Acts, page 127. 
|| Martin, vol. II, page 94. 

tRancroft, vol. IV. page 
gPublic Acts, page 126. 



In the month of August the Court Laws, passed four years 
before, were repealed by proclamation. This was the beginning 
of a long and bitter contesl between the House of AjBsembly on 
the one side and the ( Jovernor, supported by his < louncil, on the 
other. It was destined never to be settled during the preva- 
lence of royal rule in the province. There was every necessity 
for harmonious support in all departments of the government, 
especially a- to the Judges who were so Boon to find their authority 
set at naught !>v the men who have become famous under the 
name of Regulators. Francis Corbin was then agent for Lord 
Granville in the province and was at the head of hi- Lord-hip's 
office for the sale of land and receipt of quit-rents. From 1744 
when King George IJ. made the Greal Deed of Grant, difficulties 
in procuring titles to land and other fraud- practiced by Lord 
( rranville's deputies, added to the extortion- of the ( Irown officers, 
had been unceasing subjects of complaint. They hail reached 
the Earl in London and two years before he had written reprov- 
ingly to Corbin. In 1759 a dozen men, believing themselves 
injured mainly by Corbin, left their homo west of the Roanoke 
and went below LMenton to the agent's house, when, in spite of 
the entreaties »>f good citizens, they carried Corbin seventy miles 

from 1 ie and detained him at Enfield until he entered into 

bond, with eight .-unties, in the sum of forty thousand dollars, to 
produce his books within three weeks and refund all unlawful 
fees.f He violated this extorted agreement and brought suit 
against four of his abductors, who, refusing to give bail were lodged 
in jail. A mob collected the next day and breaking open the dour- 
released the prisoners. Corbin in a short while dismissed the 
-nit ami paid the costs. 

In the year 1759, almo-t a century from the time of King 

( lharles the Second's grant of the territory of the two< larolinas, ii 
was determined by the General Assembly then in session at Wil- 
mington that a new county should be erected. This was a 

•Martin, vol. II. page '.'I. tSwain'- War ofthe Regulation, page I. 


memorable year in the world's history. Never before or since, 
was the meteor flag of England more terrible and triumphant. 
The ignorance and incapacity of the Duke of Newcastle bad 
given place to the imperious genius of William Pitt. The patri- 
otism and enthusiasm of the latter pervaded the world. In the 
land of the Great Mogul, Clive and Coote overturned the throne 
of the successors of Aurungzebe. On the continent of Europe 
the ally of the English, the great King of Prussia routed the 
Austrians at Lignitz. The British and Hanoverian armies 
under Prince Ferdinand entirely defeated the French at Minden. 
Off' Point Lagos, Boscawen met and overthrew the Toulon fleet. 
In the darkness of a stormy night, amid the raffing waters of 
Biscay, in spite of his pilot's entreaties to the contrary, Ilawke 
thrust his ships between the enemy and the iron bound coast and 
triumphed gloriously. In America was the crowning success of 
all. The Homeric figure of Wolfe >hone upon the Heights of 
Abraham, and all the splendid results of French valor in Canada, 
were gone like a dream. ■ 

In the month of November, 1759, the session of the General 
Assembly having been prorogued from New-Bern, met in it- 
ninth sitting at Wilmington and passed the following act : 
"Whereas the large extent of the counties of Chowan, and 
Bertie, renders it grievous and burdensome to many of the 
inhabitants thereof to attend the courts of justice and other 
public meetings appointed therein. For remedy whereof, 
be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Assembly, and by 
authority of the same, that from and after the first day of Max- 
next the said counties be divided as follows, to-wit : 

Beginning in Bertie county at the first high-land on the 
northwest side of Mare Branch, on Chowan River Pocosin, 
running thence by a direct line to Thomas Outlaw's plantation. 
near Stony Creek, thence by a direct line to Northampton county 
line at the plantation whereon James Rutland formerly lived, 
then along Northampton county line to the head of Beaver Dam 
Swamp, thence by a direct line to the easternmost part of Kerb} - 
Creek, thence down the creek to Meherrin River, then up the 




Meherrin River to the Virginia line, then easterly along dowu 
Bennett's ( 'r< sek to the Chowan River, then across the river t<» 
the mouth of said Marc Branch, and up the branch to 1 1 1 < ■ be- 
ginning; and all that pari of the said counties included within 
the said bounds be henceforth erected into a distinct county and 
parish, and called and known by the name of Hertford county, 
and parish of St. Barnabas." 

The American colonic- bore their full share in the toil and 
bloodshed of that potentous era, when the two greatest nations 
in the world were struggling for ascendancy in the new hemis- 
phere. But valor anil devotion to British interest on their part, 
could not disarm the jealousy of the mother country. The 
selection of the name of Hertford is still significant of evils 
which were at that day sore upon the hearts of our people. The 
Navigation Act was a mighty incubus upon their energies. 
Unfriendly speeches and votes in Parliament had shown who 
were the friends of the colonies. Francis Seymour, Earl of 

Hertford, had often proved his sympathy for the people of thi- 
country, and his motion in the House of Lords in 1765 for the 
repeal of the Stamp Act. was hut one of many friendly offices. 
Our forefathers were both wise and gracious, when they thus 
erected to his honor, an imperishable monument of their gratitude. 
The names nf Dobbs, Bute and Tryon have utterly perished 
from our map, hut Hertford, Burke and Camden still perpetuate 
the reverence that dictated their names. In the instance of the 
Great Commoner we have made assurance doubly sure, and will 
transmit to remotest posterity, his dual titles of Pitt and 
( 'hatham. i 

' N< »i i:. I have inserted the text of the two acta creating Bertie and Hen 
ford counties as examples of (In- difference in tin- Btyle of enactment in the 
proprietary and royal governments "I North Carolina 

fNoTE. — Gov. Dobbs had been in office since 1754. It was during In*- rule 
thai Hertford county was erected, and it doubtless owed much to one of ite 
own citizens for tin' fad <>r ii> corporate existence. The first James Jones, of 
a long sua eseion of thai name in our midst, was a member <>f the < luvernor's 
Council, and was in such a position as to make hi- wishes fell in the Legislature 


Life at the period referred to had become a pleasant tiling to 
the people inhabiting the eastern portion of the province. A 
few friendly Tuscaroras lingered upon the banks of the Roanoke. 
The Meherrins had left their hunting grounds in Manney's Neck 
and passed from all subsequent scrutiny in their journeyinga 
toward the west. The Bertie peninsula grew rapidly in wealth 
and population. The rude cabins of the first settlers had given 
place to comfortable if not elegant framed houses. Unbounded 
hospitality was seen on every side. Marriages among the 
wealthier people were celebrated by a general gathering of 
the friends of the parties, and often for a week or more the fes- 
tivities were continued. Apple brandy and West India rum, 
with the added inspiration of the negro fiddlers, gave win.:-- to 
the flying hours of the midnight revel. Thus, 'mid dancing, and 
tables which groaned with the weight of the feasts, thoseancient 
belles and beaux celebrated the union of their young friends in 
the holy estate of matrimony. 

Fox-hunting and racing had their devotees at an early daw 
Some men had the wealth to indulge in the luxury of blooded 
horses, and made their houses the headquarters of the sporting 
men of their day. A few had well kept private race courses, 
and many were the victories and defeats sustained thereon. Strict 
New England notions were not countenanced by the curled and 
powdered gentlemen of that period. As a general rule there was 
an abundance of hard drinking and swearing among the men. 
while the stately matrons in their long stomachers and big 
hoops, were never so well pleased as when walking a minuet, or 
betting at a rubber of whist. The preachers doubtless sighed 
over some of these transactions, but they saw in them no such 
impropriety, as did the Quakers and Puritans. In the provi- 
dence of God thus lived those men and women of a former day. 

While such was the condition of society in the new county of 

of that tunc. He was a man of large wealth and of habits thai made him 
popular in his day and generation. His sons and grandsons bore distinguished 
stations in this and other States, and the farm three miles above Pitch Land- 
ing, whereon he lived and died, is still in the possession of his descendants. 


Hertford and its neighbors in Albemarle, a far different Btate 
of affairs obtained in Granville, Orange, Anson and Rowan 
counties. The people in those western settlements had neither 
the wealth nor inclination to indulge in mere amusements. Thej 
were of such stuff as were the iron men who had followed 
Cromwell. They were not lacking in intelligence, but they 
sprung Prom a -tuck that looked upon the habits of the < Javaliers 
as the Devil's service. Recent war- had created a large provin- 
cial debl and as an inevitable consequence, an oppressive taxation 
to meet it. The revenue for thi> purpose was principally de- 
rived from a poll tax. To pay this and the quit-rents to Lord 
( rranville, and other public due.-, amounted to at least ten dollars 
on each head of a household. There was little currency of any 
kind in the province. Gold was utterly unattainable and the 
public bills of credit exceedingly scarce. The men of the west 
relied almost exclusively upon their wheat crops as a means of 
paying their public- dues. This great staple when hauled to 
( Iross ( 'nek, then the nearest market, realized but one shilling a 
bush el. f In such a state of all'airs were thc-e stern and ^oaMy 
mcii subduing a wilderness and learning the uselessnees of that 
royal protection so much vaunted by Governor Dobbs. 

Chief-Justice Peter Henley died in this the commencement of 
the court troubles. Those ( ,j' the Assembly who were most dis- 
posed the hedge about the former judicial privileges bore honor- 
able testimony to his learning and integrity. He was succeeded 
by Charles Berry, who emulated his virtue- but was to find a 
tragic conclusion to his official honors. A hopeless struggle en- 
sued at Wilmington at the close of the year, between the two 
houses of Assembly, over the bill creating courts in place of those 
recently abrogated bj royal orders in council. The people's 
representatives presented a scheme of a system establishing a ( lourt 
of King's Bench and Common Pleas, [t forbade the Chief- Jus- 
tice taking any part of the ( llerk's fees. This clause and another 

'Swain's \\':u- < >t the Regulation, page t. 
fSwain'a \\':ir of the Regulation, page 5. 


for borrowing enough from the sinking f un <l to pay the salaries 
of the Associate Justices and Attorney-General, produced such 
a disagreement, that no bill was passed. 

The war .with the Cherokees, which Governor Lyttleton had 
provoked, still continuing, Colonel Hugh Waddell was sent with 
a regiment to rendezvous at the new village of Salisbury in 
Rowan, where he was joined by Captain Cogdill of Bertie, with a 
company of Tuscarora Indians who still lingered on their reserva- 
tion upon Roanoke River. In the fall, Colonel Waddell moved 
his command to Tugalo in South Carolina, where he was joined 
by the forces of that province. From that point they crossed 
the Blue Ridge and ravaged the Co wee or Underbill towns." 

In the summer of 1760 there were riots in Orange county 
which prevented the sheriff from holding an election. In Hali- 
fax town the sheriff was induced to open polls for selection of a 
borough member and, strange to say, Stephen Dewey, with such 
credentials, was allowed to take his seat. The Governor in his 
address, after congratulating the Assembly on the glorious suc- 
cess of the King's arms, besought them to establish a court sys- 
tem and appoint an agent to England. f The Assembly passed, 
as a new bill, the old system lately repealed by the King and 
the Governor discovered that unless he assented to its passage, 
the Lower House would pass no bill for supplies. He attempted 
to temporize and the result was an act for the establishment of 
County Courts, but no Superior Court bill was passed. The 
Lower House, by resolution, created Anthony Bacon agent for 
the province at London, and having passed a bill with a clause 
emitting paper money, it was rejected by Governor Dobbs and 
the Assembly was dissolved. He was soon condemned in severe 
terms by the Board of Trade for his unreasonable interference 
in the appointment of a colonial agent and also fur dissolving 
the Assembly, when by its action so much aid could have been 
obtained for South Carolina in her war with the Cheroke 9. 

*Murphy's Historical Memoranda. fMartin, vol. II. page L07 

JMartin, vol. II, page 142. 


On the 6th of February, L761, King George III. was pro- 
claimed at Brunswick. It seenis marvelous in our day that 
George II. had died October 5th before, and yet the news had 
just reached North Carolina. The Governor met the Legisla- 
ture at Wilmington, March 31st, and was in a position both to 
be condemned and pitied. His native obstinacy conjoined to an 
honorable fealty to the throne had placed him in hopeless an- 
tagonism with the representatives of the people he was to govern. 
Che dispute aboul the courts had become chronic, and is a> dis- 
gusting to a modern student of history as it should have Keen 
to His Excellency. He was probably right in his assertion that 
the Kinu had been originally, induced t<» repeal the old courl 
laws by certain members of the lower House to subserve their 
own ambitious ends. There can be no doubl that the great aim 
of Samuel Swann, and those he controlled, was to make the 
places of the chief judges unattainable to foreign lawyers, and 
to deliver the North Carolina bench from any dictation outside 
of its own sense of right and learning. The Euug and Gov- 
ernor Dobbs insisted upon the rule of Dvm bene pladto, while 
the House of Assembly was determined on bem gesserint. 

\\ hen in the year following, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, in his cir- 
cular to the Governors, demanded a proportionate contribution 
of men and mean- to prosecute the war. such was the feeling in 
the Legislature of North Carolina against the Governor, that 
neither men nor money could lie obtained. The} -aid that the 
province had already incurred an indebtedness of four hundred 
thousand dollars, and they were unwilling to add to the people's 
burdens. Another unhappy resull to Governor Dobbs, was the 
movement which procured the King's repeal of the act estab- 
lishing Tower Hill as the seat of government. In the upper 
House he could but procure John Rutherford, L. II. DeRos 
and John Sampson to protest against the resolution which was 
to destroy a -peculation upon which he had set hi- heart. Even 
they admitted the propriety of removing it from Tower Hill. 
but were oppo-ed to going to New -Hern, where the House offered 
to erect government buildings in case of ;i repeal. It must also 

1763. THE STAMP U T. 81 

have been a mortification to His Excellency that President 
Hasell, who gave the casting vote, enabled his own oephew, 
Richard Spaight, Henry Eustace McCulloh and Alexander 
McCulloh, to pass the measure through the Upper House, of 
which these four constituted a majority.* 

At last, in 17o'3, peace was made, and the great horror of 
French and Indian massacres was over. England had triumphed 
in her gigantic struggle with France, hut even then the wise 
French Premier foresaw that she would lose America. The 
colonies were abundantly able by this time to repel any Indian 
aggression, and it needed no prophetic gift to surmise their early 
aspirations for deliverance from the tutelage of a government no 
longer necessary to their safety. ( )n April 5th, 1 7<>.">, the British 
Ministry introduced into the House of Commons a measure 
which was as effective in that direction as if prepared with a 
special determination of bringing about the independence of 
America. This was the resolution declaring their right to tax 
America and proposing the famous Stamp Act. This measure 
had been first suggested by the renegade American, William 
Shirley, when in command of the provincial forces in lToli.t 

Rev. Dr. Joseph Alexander at this time came to the assistance 
of Rev. Alexander Craighead, who was in charge of the Presby- 
terian congregation at Sugar Creek.| Soon seven other churches 
were to grow from this parent stem. The year 1764 was to 
witness separate congregations at Steel Creek, Providence, Hope- 
well, Centre, Rocky River and Poplar Tent, besides others in 
Rowan. § 

Governor Dobbs, in his address to the Assembly, deplored the 
condition of the established church of the province. He stated 
that out of the thirty parishes which had been established, but 
six were supplied with rectors. He advised that salaries should 
be collected in all of them by a tax levied upon people of all 

*Martin, vol. 11, page 174. fBancroft, vol. IV. page 222. 

JMartin, vol. II, page 179. $Foot(A Sketches, page I'. 1 ". 

HISTORY OF NORTH I \ i:« »I I NA. 1764. 

beliefs, and the money thus realized appropriated to the erection 
of churches and purchase of glebes. 

In the fall of L763 Gover • I)ol>l>- gel out on his journey 

to meet the < Ihief-Magistrates of ( leorgia and South ( larolina, al 
A.ugusta, for a conference on Indian affairs. The venerable 
James Hasell, of Craven, as Presidenl of the Council, took the 
oaths u|' (. dice as commander-in-chief October 1 5th. He had 
been long prominenl in the affairs of the province. lie had 
Ween conspicuous as a lawyer, ( Ihief-Justice of tlie ( reneral ( Jourt 
and Presidenl « » i * the < Jounci] since the death of < Jolonel .Matthew 
liouaii in 17")!». He was succeeded in the Presidency of the 
Council by ex-Chief-Justice James Murray. The province had 
sustained a great loss in the recent death of Samuel Swann. He 
had exercised as much influence for twenty years past in the 
Assembly and courts of North Carolina as did formerly his 
friend and associate, Edward Moseley. Governor Dobbs com- 
plained bitterly of his power and influence in the House, and 


sometimes dissolved the Assembly with the hope of meeting 
compliance in other men to be chosen at a fresh election. t He 
was succeeded by John Ashe, of Ne^ Hanover, who was his 
kinsman, being the oldest son of John Baptiste Ashe, who in 
L728 had married Elizabeth, the sister of the deceased Speaker, 
Samuel Swann. John Ashe was lacking in hi> uncle's legal 
learning, but was of a chivalrous and fearless nature, which was 
to make him prominent and useful in the stormy year- t<> follow.J 
In the Assembly of 1764, which met at Wilmington, there 
w;i~ a ridiculous disagreement betweeD the two Houses on a 
matter of privilege. The House of Assembly sara lit to speak 
of the Council as a "Board." The Upper House returned an 
angry remonstrance, and refused to proceed to business until the 
offensive term was withdrawn. So much temper was displayed 
that they could uol agree as to the appointmenl of an English 
agent, and Couchet Jouvencel was selected for that position in 

Martin, vol. II. page 180. (•Martin, page 39. 

Public Art-, page 1 17. 


place of Anthony Bacon, by a separate resolution of the Lower 

House. James Davis this year began the publicati f the 

first newspaper ever printed in the province. It was called the 
North Carolina Magazine or Universal Intelligencer. This was 
a New-Bern enterprise, and soon had a rival at Wilmington, in 
Andrew Stewart's North Carolina Gazette and Weekly Post Boy. 
Judge Francis Xavier Martin characterized them as "jejuneand 
vapid papers, filled with long extracts from the works of theo- 
logical writers or selections from the British magazines." 

Governor Dobbs had applied for a leave of absence, and Wil- 
liam Tryon, Lieutenant Colonel of the Queen's Guards, was 
sent over and qualified as Lieutenant-Governor at Wilmington, 
October 27. The aged Governor, having convened the Assem- 
bly at the same town, and having had his last quarrel with them 
about his unwarranted appointment of Andrew Stewart as public 
printer, took his leave for the journey abroad. He did not live 
to carry out his intention of visiting England, but died at Ill- 
plantation on Town Creek, March 28th, in the 82nd year of his 
age. The stimulus of unnumbered disagreements with the 
refractory Legislatures had been withdrawn and unwonted peace 
proved fatal to the veteran stickler for royal prerogative.* 

In addition to those who have already been mentioned as 
members of the Governor's Council, were Robert Palmer, Ben- 
jamin Herron, Edward B. Dobbs and John Rieusett, of whom 
little is now known; James Corbin, a kinsman of Lord Gran- 
ville's agent, was also a. member of the same body. So, too. 
were Colonel James Jones of Hertford, and John Dawson of 
Bertie. The latter had married Penelope, the daughter and 
heiress of Governor Gabriel Johnston, and Lived at Eden 
House.f Colonel William Dry of Brunswick, who was to be so 
much admired in subsequent years by Josiah Quincey of Mas- 
sachusetts, with Major John Swann and Lewis Henry DeRossett, 
both of Wilmington, represented the lower Cape Fear in the 
Upper House of Assembly .J 

*Martin, volume II, page L91. fMcRee'a Life of [redell, page 38 

IQuineev's Journal, 1771. 11 



A. D. L765 TO 1768. 

Governor Tryon — The ladies of his household — Tryon's appointment ominous 
of t nuil >lc tn North ( iarolina — Ijord Egremont's complaints — < Sondition of the 
Colony Herman Husbands and the Regulators— Population and wealth — 
Albemarle and its weight in the province— Col. Harvey, Samuel Johnston, 
Lawrence Baker, John Campbell and Allen Jonei — Rev. Charles Earle of 
Edenton and the Established Church — Establishment of the Kehukee Bap- 
tist Association — George Whitefield visit- the colony — John Frohock, 
•leorge Selwyn and the Mecklenburg riots — Henry Eustace McCullob 
and James Iredell — Passage of the Stamp Act and its reception in America — 

English ideas as to America's duty in the general expense of government — 
Hardship of the Stamp exaction on North Carolina — Provincial indebted- 
ness in 1765 — Taxation and means of its payment — Tryon and John Ashe 
on the Stamp trouble — General Assembly prorogued— Excitemenl in North 
Carolina — Assembly dissolved— General Conway and William Pitt on the 
situation — Arrival of H. B. M. ship Diligence with the stamps— Colonel 
\-he and General Waddell call out the militia of New Hanover and 
Brunswick — The stamps are refused a landing — Repeal of the Stamp Acl 
and Tryon's proclamation — The Wilmington Address — General Assembly 
units, John Harvey Speaker — John Ashe — Appropriation tor the New-Rein 
Palace- The Cherokee lint — New Court Laws — Martin Howard. Maurice 
Moore and Richard Henderson -Navigation Act— George Moore and Cor- 
nelius Harnett deliver the Wilmington remonstrance to Governor Tryon 
Establishment of Winton. 

Governor Tryon was destined soon to achieve a bad eminence 
in the annals of North Carolina. He was shrewd in address 
and highly magnetic in his influence of person and manner. 
lie was an accomplished soldier, and in accepting oivil office in 
the colonics, had the express understanding thai he did so with- 
out military disparagement, and was still to retain his rank in 
the tinny, and his proper place in the line of promotion. 1 1 < - 
was of finished presence, full of fcacl and of more than ordinary 

Swain's War of the Regulation, pare 82. 

1765. MISS EST I IKK WAKE. 85 

ability. With all his suavity of manner he wasyel asscheming 

as his predecessor, and as unrelenting as Sir William Berkeley. 
He was sometimes childishly passionate, and justified Maurice 
Moore's fiercest ridicule by an overweening vanity and love of 
display.* Governor Dobbs had brought with him an array <>l 
hungry kinsmen in search of office, but Tryon's staff consisted 
only of two most lovely and accomplished women. His wife 
and her sister, Esther Wake, were the ornaments of their sex. 
and almost justified the extravagant tales that have been told of 
their part in influencing the course of events during their stay 
in the provinee.f To no other woman has the great honor been 
done of giving her name to a county in North Carolina. The 
name of Tryon was indignantly blotted from our map on the 
earliest opportunity of the Revolution, but fair, young Esther 
Wake is remembered in her singular jrlorv of naming our me- 
tropolitan county. 

The appointment of Tryon was ominous of approaching 
trouble to North Carolina. His tact and address were calcu- 
lated to gather party support, while his military training and 
vindictive nature promised effective repression of an insubordi- 
nate spirit, which had long been imputed to the province. From 
the considerate Governor Spotswood of Virginia, down to 
intemperate George Burrington, an almost unceasing chorus of 
complaint and anathemas had gone across the Atlantic t<> create 
distrust in the minds of Eno-lish rulers toward this American 
colony. Lord Egremont from the Board of Trade had been of 
late years more than once bitter in his censures on the Carolinian 
Burgesses.^ All the inherent obstinacy and constitutional irrita- 
bility of Governor Dobbs had been set down to that func- 
tionary's loyalty to the Crown, and the colonists were blamed too 
often, when no one but the irate old Irishman was really in 
fault. The western settlements were in deplorable confusion. 
Between their poverty and the extortions of corrupt officials, 

*Atticus Letter. t.Jones' Defence, page 1 1. 

JMartin, vol. II, page 141. 


there existed abundant ground for complaint and redress, but 
real evils were magnified by some malignant and unscrupulous 
leaders, who inflamed the simple-minded people by ceaseless 
harangues and an occasional publication of exciting pamphlets. 31 

Herman Husbands, a Quaker who had come from Penn- 
sylvania, attempted the role in that day so often played by Nor- 
thern immigrants of this age. I [e came to reform and confound 
North Carolina. His peaceful garb enclosed a heart which was 
full of ambition and all uncharitableness. His slanderous and 
malignant nature was not content with heaping opprobrium on 
political foes, for he was expelled from his seat in the Assembly 
tor libel upon Maurice Moore who, with Thomas Person of 
Granville, was notoriously friendly to the reforms which Husbands 
was so clamorously demanding.! He affected the love of peace 
and devotion which, to the honor of the sect, is so common among 
the Quakers, but was at heart a mischievous agitator, who loved 
turmoil and onlv shrank from the conflict whenever a cowardly 
fear of personal injury suggested the propriety of retreat. The 
great body of the Regulators were honest and patriotic in their 
motives, but Herman Husbands was as corrupt as Titus Oates, 
and ought to have received at least a portion of that miscreant's 

The province had immensely increased in population since 
the death of Governor Gabriel Johnston. The white people 
numbered one hundred and eighty thousand, with forty thousand 
slaves and free persons of color to be added. | Wealth and ele- 
gance were to be seen in all the eastern counties, where apart 
from their opposition to the English Parliament's claim of right 
to tax the colonies, there were perfect content and loyalty to the 
British government. In the march of events, Albemarle had 
lost its ancient weight in the government of North Carolina, but 
John Harvey of Perquimans, Samuel Johnston of Chowan, 
Lawrence Baker of Hertford, John Campbell of Bertie and 

The Granville Serious Address. fMartin, rol. II. page '-'tis. 
(Swain's War of tli<- Regulation. 


Allen Jones of Northampton were leading men in the Assembly, 
and all destined to eminent usefulness in the future. 

Rev. Charles Earle, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 
Edenton, was a quasi-Bishop of the future Diocese of North 

Carolina, but the Bishop of London still continued to treat the 
province as a portion of his See, and it was necessary at that 
date for American candidates for Episcopal priesthood, to visit 
England for the imposition of hands.* Rector Gurley still 
rendered faithful service at St. John's and St, Luke's, while 
Wiccacon Chapel in the lower portion of Hertford county, and 
Outlaw's Chapel in Bertie, were under the ministration of Rev. 
John Alexander. This Avas a memorable year in the history of 
the Baptists of North Carolina and Virginia. Their churches 
between James and Xeuse Rivers, met at Kehukee, near Xor- 
fleet's Ferry on the Roanoke, and formed the Association which 
took its name from the place of its origin. f The church at 
Meherrin did not join this organization for several years, by 
reason of certain disagreements in creed and practice. Its pastor, 
Rev. Joseph Parker, lived where the village of Murfreesboro 
has since been built, and atoned by the purity of his life for 
whatever of theological error he taught and believed.J It was 
also during this year that the famous English divine, George 
Whitefield came, in his apostolic zeal and eloquence, to thrill 
the careless multitudes of America into new perceptions of their 
religious duty. He belonged to the new sect of Methodists 
before unknown in Carolina, and his visit resulted in great good 
to the Baptist Churches, as those converted under his preaching 
generally joined that denomination. $ 

Governor Tryon was soon disturbed with account.- of riots 
in the new county of Mecklenburg. John Frohock was driven 
from his work of surveying the lands of George Selwyn. This 

*Iredell's Life, page 591. 

tBurkitt's History of the Kehukee Association. 
JDr. Wheeler's History of Meherrin, page 4. 
§Swain's War of the Regulation, page •">. 


famous English wit had entrusted his American interests to the 
management of Henry Eustace McCulloh, who was a member of 
the Governor's Council, and was soon n> become agent of the 
province in London. lie had greatly profited by his sharp and 
unscrupulous practices, and with his lather, was a large land 
holder in Bladen and certain counties of the west. His only 
real service to North Carolina was the sending over, during the 
\<ar 1767, as his assistant in the Collector's Office at Edenton, 
young .lame- [redefl from the town of Leewes in England. 
McCulloh was selfish and corrupt, l>nt his youthful relative 
was soon to become a groat lawyer, an eminent patriot and an 
immortal honor to the State of his adoption.* 

Rumors of the pa— ago of the Stamp Act became prevalent 
in America early in the year 1765, although it did not receive 
the royal assent as a law until .March 5th.f No act of legislation 
ever received such united and violent opposition and denunciation 
through all America as did this favorite measure of the Bed- 
ford Ministry. As the colonists were a component portion of* the 
British Empire and subject to the jurisdiction of Parliament, it 
was but right that they should, as English subjects, contribute 
their fair and lawful proportion of the imperial revenues. Under 
the great charter of ( 'harles II., they could claim the privileges 
of Great Britain. The most sacred and ancient of those immu- 
nities was the right of the people to originate through their own 
representatives every measure which might operate as a tax upon 
their estates. This was good law and good reason. But in 
matters regulating the general commerce and trade, where every 
portion of the empire was to l>e equally affected, the colonies, a^ 
a general rule, might well have submitted to the authorities at 
Westminster, as they booh found it necessary, after independence 
to delegate to a general Congress the same functions. A mod- 
erate and equitable stamp act was not only consistent with the 
chartered rights of the colonies, but was in truth the most feasi- 
ble and benignant way possible of realizing from America some 

■IiviU-H's'c page 9. fMartin, vol. II. page 195. 

1765. THE STAMP ACT. 89 

return of the prodigious outlay of Great Britain to defend them 
from the French and Indians. Lord Mansfield and all the 
great lawyers save Lord Camden,* were satisfied of its consti- 
tutionality, but they had not taken into consideration the enor- 
mous difference in its probable effects upon England and such a 
people as then constituted the population of the Province of 
North Carolina. England had a commerce which was the 
greatest in the world save that of Holland. She was rich in 
trade and manufactures of all kinds, which go to make capital. 
The Bank of England and private institutions of similar char- 
acter supplied an abundant circulating medium. 

A^ery different was the condition of the Province of North 
Carolina. In 1767 Chief-Justice Hasell, a zealous and enlight- 
ened loyalist, wrote Governor Tryon from Salisbury: "In the 
progress of my circuit I have found the inhabitants of the back 
country quiet, but not one advocate for the stamp duty, and 
scarce any specie circulating among them." In a few months 
thereafter Governor Tryon said in a letter to the Earl of Shel- 
burn : "I shall, my Lord, take the liberty to represent to you two 
or three cases of inconvenience this country is under, for want of 
a greater medium of trade. The distresses the public iu gen- 
eral and many families in particular experience, proceed in some 
measure, from the receivers of public taxes being frequently 
under an obligation to distrain for the taxes to be levied in sup- 
port of the government. These effects put up to sale, cannot 
always purchase money, from its scarcity, sufficient to answer 
the taxes demanded; yet, perhaps by the sale, the owner will 
be greatly distressed, if not ruined. "f 

Dr. Hugh Williamson, in his history, says that the amount of 
North Carolina's indebtedness at that time by reason of out- 
standing bills of credit, amounted to seventy-five thousand and 
thirty-two pounds sterling. These were lawful tender at the 
rate of one hundred and thirty-three and a third to our Imn- 

*Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chief-Justices, vol. II, page :'« ; >ii. 
{Swain's Regulation, page (>. 


dred, while their real market value in sterling money was two 
to one. 'The sinking fund was realized l>\ a poll tax of one 
shilling and a small duty of four pence on each gallon of imported 
wines and spirits. 'The poll tax to meet the public debt was in 
effect tw<» pounds and ten shillings; thai Is, twelve and a half 
dollars to each head of a family. Tin-- state of aflairs made 
the burdens of the different sections frightfully unequal, as did 
also, the quit-rents, which disregarded improvements, Locality 
and value, and exacted seventy-five cent- on every hundred acres 
of land. In Albemarle and along the seacoasf were compara- 
tive wealth and small divisions of land. Lumber, tobacco, fish 
and other commodities were exported and realized English gold 
when demanded ; hut in the western settlements, difficulties of 
transportation rendered the wheat crops almost unavailable for 
any other purpose than feeding the population of that vicinity. 
'Idie Stamp Act, in its fifty-five section-, contained a range 
and variety of exactions which would have been simply ruinous 
to a people already at their wits end- for devising means to meet 
their public duva. It taxed newspapers and pamphlets more 
than such publications at presenl would cost. Every advertise- 
ment in a newspaper paid the government fifty cents ; almanacs 
eight cents and college diplomas ten dollars. A separate duty 
was laid on every paper \\>c(\ in Legal proceedings through the 
whole course of writ, subpoenas, declaration, plea, rejoinder. 
affidavit, judgment and execution ; likewise on every instrument 

attesting sales of real or personal property J all evidence- of 
debt or any paper writing 1 of use in commercial transactions.* 
I he original hill was introduced l>\ George Grenville and 
passed hoth Houses without debate or observation. Thepeople 
of England first became aware of the existence of such a law 
when they heard of the determination of the colonies t<» disolie\ 

it.t Everywhere in America there was a frenzy of opposition. 
Governor Tryon met the Aasemblv May 3rd, 17<>.">. They had 

War <'f the Regulation, page •">. 
fCampbell's Chief-Jnsticee, vol. II. page 356. 


passed but one bill in relation to the established clergy, and 
were considering His Excellency's proposition of aid to Dr. 
Benjamin Franklin, recently made American Postmaster-Gen- 
eral, when the news came of the passage of the Stamp Act. 
The Governor held a conference with John Ashe, then Speaker 
of the House of Assembly, and inquired of him what would be 
the action of that body in relation to the new law, which was 
exciting so much comment. "It will be resisted to blood and 
death," said Ashe* and at once, without waiting for the storm 
to gather, Governor Tryon issued his proclamation proroguing 
the Assembly to meet at New-Bern, November 30th, as he said, 
but in reality to meet no more until the odious measure had 
been repealed. f Samuel Adams and James Otis had led the 
representatives of Massachusetts to call for a general Congress 
of the provinces to convene and memorialize the King. That 
North Carolina was no party to the famous " Declaration of 
Rights and Grievances" uttered by that body, was solely attribu- 
table to the fears and tyranny of Governor Tryon.| Bv re- 
peated prorogations North Carolina was deprived of a voice in 
that momentous period when her freemen were so united, that 
her ruler, for once in his life, adopted economy in the public 
administration and for nearly two years conducted affairs with- 
out any aid or appropriation from the General Assembly. § 

While the Assembly was thus fettered and dumbfounded, the 
people of the whole province were in a blaze of excitement. 
There were many meetings to consult for the public good. The 
men of Albemarle were fitly represented by the courageous 
resolves of Edenton. In New-Bern, Richard Cogdell, and on 
the Cape Fear, John Walker and Colonel Hugh Waddell led in 
expressing through resolutions their abhorrence of and opposi- 
tion to the late measures of Parliament, and their entire concnr- 

*Wheeler, vol. I, page 50. 

fJones, page 21 ; Martin, vol. II, page 195; Public Acts, page 154. 

JMartin, vol. II, page 201. 

? Jones' Defence, page 23. 



renoe in the sentiments recently expressed by the northern 

Late in the year Colonel Tryon. who had been acting hitherto 
under his commission as Lieutenant-Governor, received fresh 
credentials from London constituting him Governor, Captain- 
Genera] ami Commander-in-chief. This added to his powers 
for preventing an Assembly and he at once, on December L'l-t, 
issued his proclamation for a dissolution, and every man of the 
body which ho so much dreaded was thus fwncbua officio. This 
last step was imperative under the terms of hi> new appoint- 
ment and the consequent creation of a new administration. 
General Conway, the younger brother of the Marquis of Hert- 
ford, then in the Cabinet, expressed unfeigned sorrow for the 
attitude of the colonies. They had no truer friend in all Eng- 
land than this gallant man, who, like almost every one else in 
Parliament, had not dreamed of such consequences as arose like 
a crop of dragon's teeth upon this ill-starred stamp enactment. 
William Pitt, with his keen discernment of what \va- to be 
popular, went storming into the House of Commons to say that 
the odious measure "must he absolutely, totally and immedi- 
ately repealed. "f 

( )n September 28th, 1765, thesloop-of-war Diligence, freighted 
with the hateful stamp-, arrived at Fort Johnston.J John 
Ashe of New Hanover and Hugh Waddell of Brunswick, who 
were the Colonels of the militia in their respective counties, had 
been on the watch for this visitation, at once embodied their com- 
mands and marched them to the town of Brunswick, where the 
Diligence lay at anchor. They notified the Captain of their de- 
termination to resist any attempt to land the -tamps, and he 
concluded that it was best to forego such endeavor.! 

Twelve days before the arrival of the ship Diligenct the people 
had forced James Houston, who had been appointed Stamp Agent, 

•Jones' Defence, page 24 ; Martin, vol. II, page 206. 
fMartin, vol. II, page 'Jl". 
(Governor Tryon's letter to the Board of Trade. 
gJones 1 I defence, page Go. 


to resign his office and to make oath that he would not execute 
the duties of his place. This occurred at the court house and 
was done in the presence of the Mayor, Moses John DeRosset, 
and other public officers.* Governor Tryon at once sent dis- 
patches to England stating the condition of affairs, and to them 
this narration is largely indebted for the particulars herein given. 

Governor Tryon had heralded by proclamation the coming of 
the ship Diligence with the stamps and had issued orders for all 
needing them to come forward and provide themselves with the 
stamps as the law required. Not a man would have the papers 
in question, and no one was authorized to receive them after the 
resignation of James Houston, as the office was still vacant and 
no man bold enough to attempt its functions. In this state of 
affairs the months of December and January had gone by and 
the 20th day of February, 1766, had come when, like the awak- 
ened energies of some silent volcano, the popular fury found 
an occasion for demonstrating its depth. 

The British ships of war Viper and Diligence, were still lying 
at anchor off the village of Brunswick. Upon the arrival of 
the merchant vessels Dobbs and Patience from Philadelphia they 
were found by Colonel William Dry, the Collector of the Port, to 
have clearance papers with no stamps attached. He took the 
papers and informed Captain Jacob Lobb of the Viper, of the 
true state of affairs. That officer at once seized both of the offend- 
ing vessels in spite of their excuses that no stamps could be had 
in Philadelphia. 

The news of this seizure brought together five hundred and 
eighty men, who put themselves under the command of the vet- 
eran Colonel Hugh Waddell. Their first movement was against 
Colonel Dry, from whom they took the obnoxious clearance 
papers, lest they should be used in the Admiralty Court as evi- 
dence against the offending skippers. They next sought Penning- 
ton, the Comptroller of the Port. Governor Tryon's house and 

^Governor Tryon to General Conway, February 29th, 1766. 


presence <li<l not avail him as a protection, for he was forced t<> 
resign bis place by the armed men who surrounded the house. 

( )n the 21stj ( !olonel Waddell and his force left Wilmington for 
Brunswick. ( rovernor Tryon hastily dispatched the news to ( lap- 
tain Lobb. The naval commander was ordered to secure Fort 

Johnston against seizure. His only step in that direction \\.i~ 

to spike all the guns lesl they should he w>((\ againsf his ships. 
Colonel Waddell found the Governor at Brunswick and Learning 
that Captain Lobb was ashore and with him, he resolved upon 
his arrest. Cornelius Harnett and George Moore bore a letter 
from Colonel John Ashe, Thomas Lloyd and Alexander Lil- 
lington, which assured Tryon of his personal safety, but de- 
manded the surrender of Captain Lobb. They soon found that 
the object of their search was beyond their reach and safe aboard 
the Viper, and they vainly sought to entice him ashore.* 

In the meanwhile the contractor's boat had been seized in 
Wilmington and the crews of the DMgenoe and Viper were left 
with but one day's rations of bread. No one was willing or 
dared to send a pound of the staff of life to the hundreds of 
men lying so helplessly at their mercy. Governor Tryon and 
Kobert Jones, Solicitor of the Court of Admiralitv were thus 
forced to admit the excuses of the Captains of the Dobba and 
I'n/iiiirr and release the vessels from arrest.* 

There was thus no agent left in the colony to execute the Stamp 
Act. With the release of the Dobfba and the Path not peace was 
restored, and Governor Tryon had little disposition to renew the 
-t niggle until he could procure instructions from Europe. 

In the meanwhile James Hasell had been appointed Chief- 
Justice of the Province in place of Charles Berry, who had com- 
mitted suicide, by shooting himself in the head with a pistol. 

This melancholy event occurred on December 21st, 1766. He 
lived eight days after the self-inflicted wound and died amid 
universal regret. He was a good lawyer and was highly valued for 

♦Governor Tryon to the Board of Trail.'. IVlimarv 2<>th, 17(>(>. 

1766. JUDGE BEKRY. 95 

his many excellences as a man. Much odium has been heaped 
upon Governor Tryon concerning the manner of Judge Berry's 
death, but the true facts of the case do not for a moment justify 
such anathemas. It has been asserted that a duel fought in June, 
1765, between Lieutenant Whitehurst and Alexander Simpson, 
a master of H. B. M. ship Viper, was the cause of his taking 
off, but this could not have been the case. These men fought 
concerning a woman.* Simpson was wounded and Whitehurst 
slain. The survivor was arrested and imprisoned, but before 
trial escaped. This occurred on the night of Governor Dobb's 
death, before the beginning of the stamp troubles. Simpson soon 
returned and voluntarily underwent his trial, which resulted in 
his conviction for manslaughter. Whatever Governor Tryon's 
sins in other respects he was probably guiltless in the matter of 
Judge Berry's death, and the coroner's jury were wholly correct 
and sufficiently explanatory when they found that he had died 
by his own hand and that the cause of his rash act was lunacy. 

These three days of terror and excitement left Governor 
Tryon with many bitter reflections. He dissembled and exhib- 
ited but little of his real thirst for vengeance, but he could not 
forgive Maurice Moore for the part he had taken in the opposi- 
tion to the Stamp Act, and he was suspended as Associate Jus- 
tice of the General Court and Marmaduke Jones put in his 
place. The Governor also renewed his request for the confirma- 
tion in London of his appointment of Robert Howe of Bruns- 
wick to the command of Fort Johnston. Captain Dalrymple, 
late commandant, had died and the bold master of Orton, who 
was to gain so many military laurels in the future was ap- 
pointed his successor. 

The year was further signalized by the removal of the greater 
portion of the Tuscaroras from the reservation in Bertie. 
Deagawekee came from New York, and as head of all the tribe, 
obtained help for the removal of one hundred and thirty Indians 
who went with him to Oneida Lake.f 

*Governor Tryon to the Board of Trade, June 24th, 1765. 
fGovernor Tryon to Sir William Johnson, June 15th, 176G. 


The high-strung and Imperious officer of Her Majesty's 
Guards, who lia<l been selected by the Bedford Ministry with 
tlic manifesl purpose of subduing the rebellious spiril of the 
Carolinians, now occupied a position of sufficient humiliation to 
have satisfied his worsl enemy. He had seen the Cine's 


authority sel at naught in his very presence and the armed -hip. 
of \vh<»sc arrival he had notified the province by proclamation, 
had l>nt served to swell the triumph of John Ashe in sealingup 
the infant stamp office. lint William Tryon was ;i man of 
spirit and resources. lie had satisfied himself that only by 
moderation was anything t<> he effected toward reconciling the 
North ( arolinians to the enforcement of the Navigation Laws and 
other measures looking to the realizing of revenue for the 
Crown. Conscious of great power in attracting men to himself 
personally he now resolved to supplant Colonel Ashe in the 
affections of the people surrounding Wilmington. Roasted 
oxen and barrels of beer were provided for the benefit of the 
men who had been assembled at a general muster. He found 
himself overmatched in this mh by his redoubtable adversary, 
who in the ridiculous rivalry taunted His Excellency with his 
fear.- of meeting an Assembly and created such feeling against 
him, that the rough yeomanry were so impolite that the} threw 
the Governor's -teaming and fragrant viands into Cape Fear 
River and turned out the contents of the beer barrels upon the 

On June 13th, Gover ' Tryon was officially notified that in 

the preceding March, Parliament had repealed the Stamp Act. 
and on June 25th, he issued his proclamation making known 
the glad tidings to the province, at the same time severely •■en- 
suring the criminal practice of public officers in exceeding the 
limit- of the law in the amount of their fees. The hypocrisy 
and demagogism of the Governor's professions in this state 
paper, had the next day a ridiculous commentary in Mayor 

Jones, page '-".': Martin, vol. II, page 212. 


Moses John DeKosset's Wilmington address. In the revelations 
of the hundred years which have elapsed since the utterance of 
these shameless insincerities, it would seem that Thomas Carh It- 
was right in his denunciation of the shams of the eighteenth 
century, and that the men of that day believed with Talleyrand 
"that language was given to men to conceal their thoughts." 
Governor Tryon had not the slightest objection to the extortions 
of the Corbins, Frohocks and Fannings, nor were the corpora- 
tion officers of Wilmington a whit more sincere in their thanks- 
givings to the King and Parliament they were so soon to oppose 
in open rebellion. 

Governor Tryon, after so long an interval of legislative inac- 
tion, at length concluded he might safely permit the representa- 
tives of the people to convene ; so he met the Assembly at New- 
Bern on November 3rd. The Lower House answered his address 
with polite reproaches for the repeated prorogations by which 
the voice of the province had been stifled in the late, alarming junc- 
ture, when the King's agents in America had been so profuse in 
reproaches on "rioters and rebels" opposed to the execution of 
the Stamp Act. They expressed thanks for the repeal of that 
measure both to the King and Parliament and protested their 
loyalty and devotion to the Crown. Having mentioned the hard- 
ships of the repeated interferences of the Executive in the 
appointment of North Carolina's agent in London, they declined 
to raise the salaries of the Judges from the fact that the strait- 
ened finances of the colony would not justify such a step.* 

John Harvey of Perquimans was chosen Speakerf of the 
Lower House. He had been for years a leading member and it 
was probably thought that in view of the violent scenes between 
the late Speaker and Governor Tryon, it would appear gracious 
to the King and His Excellency for a change to be made. To 
show that Colonel John Ashe had not lost his ascendancy and 
popularity with the Burgesses, they nominated him as the 

*Martin, vol. II, page 221. fPublic Acts, page 1(50. 


Southern Treasurer in place of John Starkey, deceased, and per- 
severed in his support against the Governor's opposition until 
the Council gave up its nomination of Lewis Henry I)eRos>et. 
and acceded to the election of this fearless tribune of the people.* 
Having incorporated the first literary institution known to the 
province in the New-Bern Academy, t they also extended to the 
Presbyterian clergy authority to celebrate the rights of matri- 
mony.J But the most important enactment of all was that 
which appropriated twenty-five thousand dollars for the erection 
in the town of New-Bern of a residence for the Governor.§ 
I'pon the application of the General Assembly in 1762 for the 
Kind's consent for the repeal of a former act locating the seat 
of government at Tower Hill in Dobb's county, the Assembly 
had promised, in the event of royal compliance with their wishes, 
that they would make appropriations for the erection of suitable 
buildings in the town of New-Bern. Governor Tryon exacted 
the fulfillment of this promise. He was constituted by the 
Legislature a sole commissioner to direct the expenditure of the 
amount appropriated. John Hawks, an English architect of 
taste, who was to leave an eminent posterity in North Carolina, 
drew the plans of the edifice. Governor Tryon, with utter dis- 
regard as to his duty in the use of the funds, exhausted the whole 
amount in the mere purchase of lots and laying the foundations 
of what was to prove the most sumptuous palace at that day to 
be found on the western continent. After so gross a breach of 

tXoTK. — It was provided in the above mentioned act thai no teachers Imt 
-ic-h as were communicant- of the English Church nhonld he employed in the 
New-Bern Aeademy. Similar provisions were enacted subsequently as to the 
schools of Edenton and Wilmington. Jealousy of the Presbyterians pre- 
vented any incorporation of Queen's Museum at Charlotte, during the exist- 
c nee of royal authority, and it was only after tin- Revolution that an ad of 
incorporation was obtained for that institution, winch was then known as 
Liberty Hall. 

•Public Art-, page l~>.~>; Martin, vol. 11. page "-"-'1 
{Public Acts, pa^e 1">7. 
^Public Acts, page 155. 
||Martin, vol. 1 1, page 228. 

1767. THE NEW JUDGES. 99 

his trust he had the effrontery to apply for further appropria- 
tion, and the Assembly of the next year, with marvelous oblivion 
a< to the impoverished state of the province, added fifty thou- 
sand dollars for the completion of the work. The Assembly's 
infatuation did not stop here. They afforded another opportu- 
nity to Governor Tryon's extravagance in his appointment as 
commissioner to run the boundary line between the Cherokee 
hunting grounds and the settlements. Such was his love of dis- 
play and childish profusion that to execute this simple trust he 
marched to perform it in a time of profound peace with a whole 
company of militia to swell his importance. He thus added to 
the miseries of a people already wretchedly poor, and to himself 
the dubious Cherokee title of "Great Wolf of North Carolina."* 
In this same Assembly of 1767 the province was divided into 
five judicial districts and a new court law adopted. Edenton, 
New-Bern, Wilmington, Halifax and Hillsboro were the points 
at which the Superior Courts were to be held, Martin Howard 
was Chief- Justice, and Richard Henderson and Maurice Moore 
were Associates. Judge Howard had recently been involved in 
trouble with the people of Rhode Island because of his opinion- 
concerning the Stamp Act. He was a man of real learning in 
his profession, and of unusual literary culture for that period. 
It has been the habit in North Carolina to disparage his memory, 
but apart from his loyalty to the King and to England, the land 
of his birth, nothing remains to his discredit which might not 
be imputed to some of his associates on the North Carolina 
bench, who have been so abundantly eulogized in all our 
annals.f Judge Howard even in the heat of the Revolution, 
though sympathizing with the King, received the respectful con- 
sideration of such men as Judge Iredell, who had the magna- 
nimity to ignore the small hatreds and defamations so prolific in 
all times of upheaval and change. Judge Maurice Moore was the 
son of General Maurice Moore, who came with his brothels 

*Maurice Moore's Atticus Letter, page '2. 

fLife of Iredell, vol. I, page 363; Bancroft, vol. Y, page — . 



Roger and George in 1 7 1 < ) to renew the ancient settlemenl of 
their grandfather, Sir John Yeamans. He was the most culti- 
vated native North Carolinian of that time. He had been for 
years leader of the North ( Carolina Bar. To a nice comprehen- 

si »f the subtleties of pleading" he added a nervous force to 

his glowing elocution which could be pathetic or incisive in an 
equal degree. No North Carolinian had then equalled him asa 
writer upon political topics. It' his Atticus Letter, written in 
1771, had appeared in London, Governor Tryon, to whom it 
was addressed, might easily have supposed that the mysterious 
author who was then convulsing England over the signature of 
Junius, had assumed another alias and was, after all, the same 
merciless and rhetorical assailant, in whose hands hi- friend, Sir 
William Draper, had been so terribly excoriated. Judge Moore 
was a man of warm impulses and of real devotion to the people 
at large. His sympathies for their distresses classed him a- a 
Regulator. .Judge Henderson lived at Williamsboro in Gran- 
ville county. lie had come, in his youth, from Virginia and 
had won much reputation as a lawyer. Hi> kinsman, John 
Williams, afterwards a Judge under the State government, 
resided in the same locality and aided Judge Henderson mate- 
rially in his earlier efforts at the bar. lie did not remain long 
upon the bench, but engaged in land speculations among the 
( Iherokee Indians. 

Notwithstanding the repeal of the Stamp Act the colonies 
were far from being satisfied with the commercial restraints still 
fettering their foreign trade. The Navigation Act was originally 

passed in 1652 under the dictation of stern Oliver St. John, 
to cripple the Dutch merchant marine. It provided that 
no country should have tin' power of exporting into England any 
commodity not the growth or manufacture of the country to 
which such ship belonged.*! It was re-enacted and became the 

Jones, page l_l ; I. if'' of [redell. | Hume, v.. I. V. page 228. 


celebrated Statute XII, Car. II, c. 18th.* Recent additions had 
been made to the machinery for enforcing this law. The civil ofli- 
cers on shore were to aid marine detectives in search of ships viola- 
ting the Navigation Laws.f Under such regulations the ships of 
the colonies and foreign bottoms were alike excluded from the free 
carriage of any American export north of Cape Finisterre, in 
France, except the single article of rice. As early as 1675, 
American ships visiting the Mediterranean Sea had been refused 
passes to protect them from the Turks, and no favors were at any 
time extended to colonial exporters except in case they were 
freighted with American products to be delivered in England. 
A similar jealousy and meanness characterized British legislation 
as to manufacturers. They had destroyed the linen factories of 
Ireland, and would have kept America without a forge, loom 
and all other manufactures, had the power of England been at 
all commensurate with her rapacity. Just as Governor Dobbs 
was laying down his office, the House of Assembly said to him, 
in its address, " We observe our commerce circumscribed in its 
most beneficial branches, diverted from its natural channels, 
and burthened with new taxes and impositions laid on us with- 
out our privity or consent, and against what we esteem our inherent 
right and exclusive privilege of imposing our own taxes."f On 
February 19th, 1766, George Moore and Cornelius Harnett 
handed to Governor Tryon a paper signed by John Ashe, 
Thomas Lloyd and Alexander Lillington, in which was expressed 
the determination to exact from the ships of the Royal Navy 
some relief to the embarrassed trade of Wilmington. § In judi- 
cial blindness and that supreme selfishness which has ever char- 
acterized every period of England's commercial career, she was 

*Blackstone, vol. II, page 416. 

fBaneroft, vol. V, page 161 ; Edmund Burke, in Annual Register, vol. VIII, 
pages 18 and 19. 

JJones' Defence, page 19. 

§Our Living and Our Dead, October, L875, page 491. 


adding cadi day fresh and unanswerable arguments for American 

Note. The Assembly of 1768 incorporated the town of Winton. li was 
located upon Chowan River and was called in honor of the Wynne family, 
who were conspicuous for wealth and influence in thai region. Benjamin, 
William. George and Thomas Wynna were the Bona of a father, who had 
greatly profited in the course of a seafaring life. He owned vessels which 
traded with the West [ndies. His brother had left North < Carolina and resided 
"ii Turk's fsland. William and Benjamin Wynns alternately represented 
Hertford county in the Colonial and Revolutionary Assemblies and William 
continued until after the war a favorite of the people. George died young 
and liis brother Benjamin did not long survive. < reneral Thomas Wynns, the 
youngest and ablest of them all, will figure largely in the after pages of tlii> 
work. (]!otton's Ferry, now known as Barfield's, was then on the post route 
between Suffolk and Wilmington, and the postoffice was at the house of < olonel 
Matthias Brickell, now known as Oak Villa. Godwin Cotton of Mulberry 
Grove was then Deputy Surveyor for the county, and he laid off* and made a 
plan of the new town, lie was the youngest son of the Arthur Cotton, ■>! 
whom mention was made in the preceding pages. 



A . D . 17 6 8 TO 17 7 1. 

English exactions alienating America — Hillsboro and the county of ( (range 
Early villainies of Earl Granville's agents — The great riot at Enfield — The 
"Serious Address" of Nut Bush in Granville county — Tryon's proclamations 
against extortion by public officers — Origin of the term "Regulators"- 
Herinan Husbands and the meeting at Haddock's Mill — The Regulation 
pledges — The men of Sandy Creek — Husbands and his political sermons 
Peter Craven sent to the Sheriffs for an arrangement — Edmund Panning 
produces trouble — Ninian Bell Hamilton marches to the rescue — Try mi 
interposes through Secretary Edwards — Red nap Howell and James Hunter 
go to Brunswick as envoys — Tryon's ungracious fulfillment of Edward's 
promises — He goes to Hillsboro and calls out the militia — Husbands incites 
the Regulators to fresh demands — Ultimatum sent and the Governor departs 
for Salisbury — Western militia marched to Hillsboro Court — The disgrace- 
ful result of the different trials — Butler fined five hundred dollars and six 
months imprisonment — Fanning lined a sixpence and costs. Assembly meets 
at New-Bern — Addresses from Massachusetts — Spread of the Regulation — 
Parliament and the King interdict further issues of provincial bills — Vir- 
ginia resolutions — Address to the King — < iovernor Tryon rebukes the Assem- 
bly and they apologize — Salisbury Court and Judge Moore's dispatches 
Hillsboro riot — Fanning is provided for as a member of the new Borough — 
Reception in the new palace — Tryon informs the Assembly of his approach- 
ing departure — Husbands' libel on Judge Moore — Consequences — The Sedi- 
tion Act — New counties — The Governor raises an army and inarches for 
Orange — General Waddell forced to retire to Salisbury — Battle of Alamance 
and its consequences — Tryon and Husbands both leave North Carolina — 
The Atticus Letter of Maurice Moore. 

An elegant and philosophic writer has remarked of cotempo- 
raneous events in the sister province of Virginia, that the Revo- 
lution there originated among the highest, and gradually extended 
its influences to the lower grades of society.* In North Caro- 
lina the movement towards independence was universal among 
all classes of the people, excepting of course, the African slaves. 

*Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry. 


who knew Little and cared Ie88 for all the topics of political 

interest. The King and Parliament were confounding the 
loyalty even of such men as Hugh Waddell, while the pilfering 
agents of the province and many of the counties were so dis- 
gusting the plain men of toil that in desire for change, conspi- 
rators were heard publicly drinking "damnation to King George 
and success to the Pretender."f In the rude and scattered farm 
houses throughout the western counties, brave men and women 
wore subduing a wilderness and pondering deeply on the subject 
of their rights and grievances. Daniel l>oone, in his Watauga 
solitudes, grew sick of the Frohocks and their exactions, and 
sought amid the wilds of Kentucky, release from public confu- 
sions more dreadful to him than tomahawk or scalping knife. 
Such women as the heroic mother of Andrew Jackson, were 
teaching their sons that resistance to tyranny was their duty t" 
God; while from the Baptist settlements went out their ancient 
tenet, that the Church of Christ is not of this world and had no 
affinity with mere human government.^ 

The village of Hillsboro, in Orange county, had become a cen- 
tral point of interest to the entire province. It had been estab- 
lished under an act of the Legislature in 1759, on the land- of 
William Churton, who, in 1746 was one of the surveyors of the 
Virginia boundary line.ij It had been originally called "Child — 
boro" in honor of Thomas Childs, the Attorney-General. Upon 
Ids disgrace for extortion, it was changed to Hillsboro in com- 
pliment to Lord Hillsboro, then English Secretary of State for 
American affairs. || During the session of Orange Inferior 
Court, in the month of August, lTiiti, occurred the first of the 
many incident- which for five years attracted so much attention 
in North Carolina and abroad.* For years past, the authorities 
and people of the province had been discussing the intent- of 

.limes' Defence, page 'J I. fWheeler, vol. II. page 1 1. 

^Bancroft, vol. II. page 63; Tracts on Liberty <>( Conscience, 1614. 
Foote's Sketches, page 19. § Public \i-i-. page 131, 

Martin, vol. 1 1, page 217. 


vague popular movements, the actors in which were designated 
by themselves and others as the "Mob." As early as 1752 
Thomas Childs and Francis Corbin, agents for the Earl of Gran- 
ville, began their oppressions by declaring patents void, which 
had been regularly issued by their predecessors in office; simply 
because the prefix, "Right Honorable Earl," had not accompa- 
nied the signature "Granville, by his Attorneys." They also 
increased the amount of the fees, and then a new one, not before 
demanded, and then the capital iniquity of repeated grants 
of the same lands to different persons ; and in various ways 
they rendered titles insecure in those portions of the province 
assigned Lord Granville in 1744 by George II., in his Great 
Deed of Grant.* 

The earliest serious disturbance of the public peace growing 
out of these causes was the seizure and abduction of Corbin in 
1759 and the Enfield riot, which terminated that opening scene 
in the first act of the tragedy. There had been an election riot 
in Hillsboro in 1760, but Herman Husbands was right in his 
assertion that the real origin of the Regulation was not in 
Orange. f Governor Dobbs had not followed up the attack upon 
Corbin, from the fact that Alexander McCulloh, a member of 
his Council and a personal friend, was engaged in it. The Hills- 
boro riot, though originating in the same way, was probably 
unpremeditated, and its only effect was to deprive Orange county 
temporarily of representation in the House of Assembly. % 
"Halifax and Granville," said Husbands, "were deeply engaged 
in the same quarrel years before Orange."§ On June 6th, 1765, 
a pamphlet, known as the "Serious Address," was circulated at 
Nut Bush, in the county of Granville, and excited so much com- 
ment that Governor Dobbs, as the last act of his administration, 
issued a proclamation severely animadverting upon the exactions 

*Foote's Sketches, page 49. 

fWheeler, vol. II, page 301 ; The Regulation, page 1. 

JFoote's Sketches, page 50. 

^Regulation, page 1. 


of clerk-, registers and attorneys, and forbidding such practices 
::- were charged upon them. Governor Tryon, the next year 
repeated this farce of "giving promise to the ear and breaking 
it to the hope." Nothing could be more empty and unmeaning 
than the utter hypocrisy of Id- whole course toward the Regu- 
lators, lie t<»!d such men as Edmund Fanning and .John 
Frohock, to beware of his resentment in the matter of their 
extortions, and then, in August, 1768, when they had persisted 
in violation of his orders and it was necessary, in the Governor's 
opinion, to raise an army for restoration of the peace, Edmund 
Fanning was made a Colonel, and Frohock a Lieutenants iolonel 
in the force- levied against their victims.* 

The term "Regulator" originated in I767f at Sandy Creek in 
Orange county, now Randolph. During the previous year, in 
the midst of the session of an Inferior Courl at Hillsboro, a 
number of men entered the court room and presented the ( flerk 
a written complaint by Herman Husbands, which he read at 
their request. It was a somewhat incoherent protest against bad 
rulers in general and an exposition of what the honest men of 
Orange desired. It suggested a meeting at Maddock's mill on 
the 20th of the ensuing ( )ctober.J There had been another meet- 
ing on Deep River, August 20th, 1766, al which William Moffat 
and another were appointed delegates to attend the general meet- 
ing at the mill. Nothing grew out of the proposed conference 
by reason of the refusal to be present of Edmund Fanning and 
Thomas Lloyd, two of the representatives of Orange in the 
Genera] Assembly. In the meanwhile the news arrived of th< 
greal sum voted by the Assembly for the Governor's pala 
and then it was at Sandy Creek thai the complete organization 
of the Regulators was formed by written agreement, dated 
March 22nd, 1 767. It was as follow- : 

We, the subscribers, do voluntarily agree to form ourselves into an association 
in assemble ourselvi - for conference for regulating public grievances and abusi t 

Martin, vol. II. page 215. fFoote's Sketches, page 52. 

I [usbands 1 Regulation, pane •".. 


of power, in the following particulars, with others of the like nature thai 

may occur: 

I. That we will pay no more taxes until we are satisfied they are agreeable 

to law, and applied to the purpose therein mentioned, unless we cannot help it 
or are forced. 

II. That we will pay no officer any more fees than the law allows, unless 
we are obliged to it and then to show our dislike and hear an open testimony 
against it. 

III. That we will attend our meetings of conference as often as we conven- 
iently can, and is necessary, in order to consult our representatives of the 
amendment of such laws as may be found grievous or unnecessary, and to 
choose more suitable men than we have done heretofore for Burgesses and Yes- 
try-men ; and to petition the House of Assembly, Governor, Council, King 
and Parliament, &c, for redress in such grievances as in the course of the 
undertaking may occur ; and to inform one another, learn, know, and enjoy 
all the privileges and liberties that are allowed and were settled upon us by 
our worthy ancestors, the founders of our present constitution, in order to 
preserve it on its ancient foundation, that it may stand firm and unshaken. 

IV. That we will contribute to collections for defraying necessary expense- 
attending the work, according to our abilities. 

V. That in case of difference in judgment, we will submit to the judgment 
of the majority of our body. To all of which we solemnly swear, or being 
a Quaker, or otherwise scrupulous in conscience of the common oath, do 
solemnly affirm, that we will stand true and faithful to this cause, till we 
bring things to a true regulation, according to the true intent and meaning 
hereof in the judgment of the majority of us."* 

These resolutions of the men of Sandy Creek do honor, even 
at this day, to the patriotism and rectitude of their intentions. 
They were mostly unlettered and of humble positions in society 
and grievously straitened in their efforts to discharge their 
public dues. A majority of them were Baptists, but good 
Shubal Stearns, who ministered to them in spiritual things, 
rigidly adhered to the teachings of his church as to its total 
severance from affairs of State. Richard Baxter, John Bunyan 
and Roger WilliamsJ had been eloquent and unceasing in their 
claims for religious liberty, while even John Locke, philosopher 
as he was, could see no further than the meagre limits of 

^Regulation, page 6 ; Wheeler, vol II, page 396. 
fBaneroft, vol. II, page 375 ; Bloody Tenant. 



religions toleration.* Ii can then l>c understood how the 
good pastor 'it' Sandy Creek left Herman Husbands, the 
ambitious Quaker, undisturbed in his subtle schemes for selfish 
advancement. Husbands talked and wrote politics all the week 
and <»n the Sabbath rested not Prom Buch labors, lmt harangued 
in this wise : 

"A strong ass in the original word denotes strength, bol implies leanness. 

And truly all those who submit to slavery are poor, We have not a word of 
his motion; — he was strong but not active to assert his rights and privileges. 
Rest was pleasant to him ; and thus ii happens now, we sit still at ease, 
trusting t<> the good land, and concluding, every one, I can live out my time 
in peace and quiet ; forgetting our posterity, and mourning not for the afflic- 
tions of Joseph." 

"I shall consider now some grievous oppressions that we labor under. Fir-i : 
The public taxes are an unequal burden on the poor of this province, by reason 
the poorest man is taxed as high as the richest. Allowing the taxes to be all 
necessary, yet there ought to be some regard had to the strength of the heart ; 
for all asses are not equally strong. We ought to be taxed according to the 
profits of each man's estate. And as we have no trade to circulate money, 
this tax ought to be paid in country produce. There would be men enough 
to be found to till all posts of office for a salary paid in produce, as any man 
can afford to officiate in an office for country produce as well a^ to farm or 
follow any other calling, the chief of which being in nothing else." 

"Thi- is a grievous burden on the poor, as matters have been carried on, for 
money is not to be had: and when a poor man's goods arc distrained. th<' 
practice has been to take double, treble, yea, ten times the value has some- 
times been taken away, and if they resist, they are belabored like asses. 
Merciful Lord, would any people rise in mobs to disturb a peaceful nation 
if they could help it '.' Who is more ready than the poor to venture their 

lives in time of war for the safety of the nation ? Nay, it is pinching bung i 
and o<>ld brought on them l>y abuse of officers that are the cauei 

Thus with specious paradox and dangerous truism did this 
apostle of sedition instruct the minds and inflame the resent- 
ments of his confiding neighbors. They did not consider, with 
Dr. Johnson, how often " patriotism is the last resort <d' a scoun- 
drel." That which ti> hint would have seemed "clotted non- 
sence," was to them the wisdom as of one inspired from on high. 

*Locke's Essay on Toleration; Necessity for Separation, by John Canne, 
fHusbandV Sermon-- on Asses. 


Junius, that yet mysterious phantom, Mas soon to declare that 
the mistakes of the gentler sex sought refuge in religion, but those 
of their brothers were as often cloaked in the garb of patriotism. 
Herman Husbands realized, with good Bishop Hooker, that 
"whoso goeth about to persuade the people that they are not as well 
governed as they might be, will surely find attentive listeners." 
He was by no means lacking in intelligence and knew that twice 
before in the history of North Carolina, successful resistance had 
been oifered to the constituted authorities of the province. In 
1677, another northern man, in the person of Culpepper, had 
driven Miller from control; as was again the case with Carev 
and Glover in 1709. But it is not probable that Husbands in- 
tended the expulsion of Tryon, feasible as that might appear in 
the light of recent events at Wilmington. He no more contem- 
plated such a step at the period now reached than he did the 
overthrow of General Washington in 1794, when, with Albert 
Gallatin, Breckenridge and others, he engaged in the Pennsyl- 
vania AVhiskey Rebellion.* He was by the necessity of his 
nature, a demagogue and agitator. He loved the incense of 
popular applause and fed his vanity at ceaseless meetings of the 
people, who assembled to hear his harangues. Though nomi- 
nally a man of peace, he was quick at resentment and pertina- 
cious in revenge, as will appear in events about to be related. f 

Until April 4th, 1767, when the name of Regulators was 
assumed there had been nothing: in the conduct of the Orange 
malcontents to justify legal repression or historical condemna- 
tion. But this state of affairs was not to continue. The Sandy 
Creek meeting sent Peter Craven and another man to see 
the Orange Sheriffs and Vestry-men and arrange with them a 
conference with twelve of the Regulators on Tuesday after the 
next Inferior Court. Before their mission had been executed 

fNoTE. — It is but just to the Quakers to state that Herman Husbands had 
been excommunicated from this society for his gross immoralities. 

* Wheeler, vol. II, page 349. 


the Sheriff's deputies, in their usual contempt of propriety as a 
(Hire matter of aggravation, levied upon the horse and accoutre- 
ments of one of the Regulators' envoys. The expected melee 
followed. A company of seventy Regulators at once followed 
the Deputy Sheriff to Hillsboro and rescued the horse from his 
possession. They were not content with this, hut, probably 
with justice, regarding Edmund Fanning as the author of this 
fresh outrage, they testified their anger by tiring a lew Bhotsinto 
the roof of his house. Fanning had been made by Governor 
Tryon, Colonel of the militia. He was also Register of Deeds 
and an attorney in the courts. To the extent of his ability, he 
was the most culpable man of all the province in producing the 
state of affairs so soon to end in bloodshed. He was a graduate 
of Yale College,* and was wanting in no element of mischief 
except manly courage. He could plunder and madden a people, 
but shrank like a hound from the perils of their resentment. f 

Fanning was growing rich on the proceed- of his villainies. 
lie apprehended a destruction of his iniquitous resources if the 
Sandy Creek people should carry out their proposed reforms. 
He knew that they regarded him as the chief of extortioners, 
and therefore it was that he now became active in stimulating 
the Regulators to acts of violence, and by slander to excite the 
cruel heart of Governor Tryon against them. With the late 
rescue of the horse from the Sheriff as an excuse for so doing, 
he called out seven companies of militia. One hundred and 
twenty men came with arms to obey his orders, but finding out 
they were to be used against the Sandy ('reek lenders, all stood 
neutral or declared openly for the Regulators except about thirty.;!; 

The Fpiscopal minister of the Hillsboro parish, Rev. Mr. 
Micklejohn, in a spirit worthy of his vocation, undertook and 
performed the service in which Peter ('raven and his com- 
panion had been interrupted, ami procured from the Sheriffs and 

*Wheeler, vol. II. page 235. ("Jones' Defence, p:i!_ r e •"> 1. 

; Bancroft, vol. VI, page L86. 


Vestry-men, a promise to meet the twelve deputies of the Regu- 
lators in a conference to be held May 20th. 

Peace seemed to have been restored, but Edmund Fanning 
and his tool, Tyree Harris, High Sheriff of Orange, concerted 
another aggravation against the lately excited men who had then 
gone quietly to their homes. This fresh wickedness against the 
public peace was concocted on the Sabbath, with the probable aid 
of Isaac Edwards, Tryon's Secretary, who had arrived the day 
before with a new proclamation from the Governor. Harris 
soon gathered thirty men, and having consumed the whole of 
Sunday night in traversing the forty miles to Sandy Creek, 
arrested Herman Husbands and William Hunter, with whom 
he hurried back to Hillsboro, where he lodged his prisoners 
in jail,* from which they were almost immediately released 
on bail. The Regulators, after so recently effecting as they 
thought a means of compromise, were maddened by this insulting 
injury to the persons of their leaders. On May 3d, seven hun- 
dred of them, under the leadership of an old Scotchman, were 
marched to the rescue of their friends; not knowing of their 
release. When they reached the little river Eno, near Hills- 
boro, across the stream stood the trembling Fanning, who now 
sought to allay the storm which he had raised. As olive branches 
were not abundant in that vicinity, as the next best token of 
peace, he stood lustily brandishing a bottle of whiskey, which, 
considering the nationality of the insurgent leader, was no mean 
substitute. Fanning requested a horse to carry him over, 
but old Ninian Bell Hamilton answered, "ye're nane too gude 
to wade." So the dripping and discomfited culprit waded over 
to find his usquebaugh despised and his statements discredited. 
At this juncture, Isaac Edwards rode up and read the Governor's 
proclamation for their dispersion and gave them as a message 
from His Excellency, if they would petition him, he would 
redress all their wrongs, in case they peacefully awaited his help. 

*Martin, vol. II, page 234. 


The long-suffering men of Orange cried out "Agreed! that is 
all we want," and at once dispersed.* 

I n consequence of Tryon's message by Edwards, the Regulators 
met May 21st and appointed a committee t<» wait on the ( rovernor 
and lay their grievances before him. ( >n the same occasion they 
prepared an address protesting their loyalty to the King, their 
attachment to the province and a prayer imploring forgiveness 
of Governor Tryon for any error of theirs which might be con- 
strued to the dishonor of the Crown or in derogation of the 
public peace. t 

If in the good providence of God, William Tryon and Ser- 
mon Husbands could have antedated their several departures 
from North Carolina by the space of three years, or by any other 
means had been removed from the theatre of mischief, there 
woidd have been an end of all the confusion so long -ecu in 
Orange. The Governor had volunteered his services as the re- 
dresser of the people's wrongs, and it will shortly appear how 
utterly vain and hypocritical were all of his professions to these 
unhappy lieges he was sworn in his oath of* office to protect 

Late in June, Bednap Howell and James Hunter waited upon 
Hi- Excellency at Brunswick, with the address and proceedings 
of the late meeting and of all preceding ones. The papers were 
laid before the Council and in pursuance of the advice of that 
body Tryon addressed a letter, dated June 21st, to the men he had 
so lately invited to seek his aid. £ This communication began with 
stinging censures of what he called conduct little short of high 
treason. The peculating villain, Edmund Fanning, was eulogized 
a- a public benefactor and the Governor's promised protection 
through Isaac Edwards, utterly disavowed. They were ordered 
to give up their rights as Englishmen in the matter of meeting 
together for advice and petition, and to forego their organization 

as Regulators. A promise was made that the Attorney-General 

■Wheeler, vol. II, page oil ; Regulation, page v . 

| Muriiii. vol. II, page 235. 

(Wheeler, vol. II, page 310; Regulation, page 10. 


should prosecute those who had been guilty of extortion and 
other illegal practices in office. And then with some information 
as to taxes, curiously suggestive of the ignorance of the times, he 
concluded with the statement that he would, the next month, 
visit Hillsboro, and that they must work hard and behave them- 
selves in the meanwhile. 

This was indeed feeding a hungry people, clamorous for 
bread, with the hardest of stones. Maurice Moore and others 
in the province were disgusted with Tryon's interference.* There 
had been no serious breach of the peace. Husbands and Hunter, 
the ringleaders of Regulators, were under bond for their appear- 
ance at the Fall Term of Orange Superior Court, and there was 
every prospect that the tribunals to which the law had committed 
cognizance of such offenses would be able and willing to vindicate 
the fair fame of the province. Tryon had already given umbrage 
in his laudations of Colonel Fanning, and early in July, upon his 
arrival in Hillsboro, sent Tyree Harriss, the Sheriff, to a meet- 
ing of the Regulators to collect the taxes. A considerable por- 
tion of these taxes were for the finishing of the palace at New- 
Bern, which had given so much offense already. Harriss got 
not a dollar on his trip, and only received orders to retire and 
threats of his life, in case he tried to distrain. Such was the 
tale he told,f though the Regulators protested that they made no 
threats but offered to lay the case before the Assembly. 

On the night of July 11th, in consequence of certain rumors, 
Governor Tryon called together some of the nearest militia, 
who were soon dismissed, as it turned out that the Regulators 
had no intention of attacking Hillsboro, but had embodied in 
consequence of certain false reports, put in circulation to the 
effect that Tryon had sent for the Cherokee Indians to assail 
them. \ Husbands availed himself of this meeting to add fresh 
material to his stock in trade in the matter of grounds of coni- 

*Atticus Letter, page 3; Martin, vol. II, page 237. 

tMartin, vol. II, page 239. 

JWheeler, vol. II, page 312; Regulation, page 12. 


plaint and tiling needing regulation. He was m» fearful thai 
his followers would obey the Governor's proclamation and dis- 
band, that lie at once formulated the following grievances unmen- 
tioned before: The first was that only a portion of Hi- Majesty's 
< "iineil were with Governor Trvon in the resolution reached 
at Brunswick. They therefore demanded that their claims 
should be passed upon by a full meeting of that body. Theother 
was, that while the outstanding indebtedness of the province 
amounted to three hundred thousand dollars, enough had 
already been paid in to have extinguished the whole amount and 
left one hundred and fifty thousand dollars surplus. It was 
resolved that "either the Assembly had been deficient in burn- 
ing it, or the Treasurer in accounting ; or else our Sherifls in 
paying the Treasurer : otherwise some counties must be vastly 
in arrears."* In other words Rev. Herman Husbands realized 
that a crisis had arrived and that the league, of which he was 
chief, was in danger of being disbanded for want of something 
about which thev might disagree with the officers. The crime- 
imputed to Fanning, Harriss and others, were also to be laid at 
the doors of the Assembly and Treasurers. Such wickedness 
and folly would go far to convince dispassionate men that their 
complaints were false or imaginary, if resting upon no better 
authority than their statements. But we have luckily other 
sources of information, which make it appear beyond doubt that 
this unhappy people were plundered as they -aid, although they 
were weak enough to follow the Quaker demagogue into this 
new and fallacious ground of dispute. Governor Trvon would 
find no means of repressing: the evils of which they complained, 
but hi- successor in office. Governor Josiah Martin, wrote a year 
alter the battle of Alamance to Lord Dartmouth in these words: 
"I can assure your Lordship, that notwithstanding evidence- of 
the most licentious, gross and criminal violence on the part of 
tin- wretched people, yet a residence among them la-t summer 

Husbands Regulation, page 1 1 . 


afforded me a full conviction of their having been grievously 
oppressed by the Sheriffs, Clerks, and other subordinate officers 
of government."* 

Governor Trvon before dismissing the Orange militia, caused 
an oath to be administered to them by which thev bound them- 
selves "with hearts and hands, life and goods, to maintain and 
defend the King's government in the province against all per- 
sons whatever, who should attempt to obstruct or prevent the 
due administration of the laws, or the public peace or tran- 

Governor Tryon having assembled the Provincial Council, 
laid before them the fresh complaint of the Regulators. Thev 
agreed with him in refusing any revision of the course thev had 
adopted at Brunswick, and the Governor, in his letter communi- 
cating this determination, expressed his regret and displeasure at 
the manner in which they had disregarded his recent advice. 
He pretended satisfaction at their resolution of petitioning the 
Assembly, and with his usual gratuitous offers of aid, promised 
them help in that matter which he was far from intending. In 
conclusion he required that twelve of their wealthiest leaders 
should wait on him at Salisbury on August 25th, and there enter 
into bond in the sum of five thousand dollars that no rescue 
should be attempted at Hillsboro Superior Court, in the cases of 
Herman Husbands and William Butler. They answered him 
through James Hunter, Peter Julian and Thomas Welborn, that 
they regretted his displeasure, yet they were unwilling to incur 
the risk of so great a bond in the precarious state of the 
public peace. f Tryon left Hillsboro August 17th, and the next 
day reached Salisbury. ;{; The day after, he passed on to Major 
Martin Phifer's. Three days later he was at Captain Thomas 
Polk's. ()n the 25th, Colonel §Adlai Osborne, commanding the 

£ Note.— Governor Trvon, in his journal, gives tliis name as Alexander 

Osborne, which I take to be a mistake for Adlai Osborne. 

■Wheeler, vol. II, page 18. fMartin, vol. II, page 242; Regulation, 15. 

jWheeler, vol. II, page 11. 



militia of the county, waited upon him in Salisbury and received 

hi- <>rdcr- for conducting a review. The next day eleven com- 
panies were upon the field.* He had reviewed the Mecklen- 
burg regiment, numbering nine hundred men, two days before. 
There must have Keen unusual magnetism in Governor Tryon's 
presence, for he claims in his journal, that not only Colonel 
Osborne, but Revs. Hugh McAden, Henry Patillo, James 
Creswell and David Caldwell had come at that time to hi- sup- 
port. He called upon Colonel Osborne's regimenl to accompany 
him to I [illsboro, and all the companies hut that of Captain 
Knox, consented to go. All these preparations and levies of 
troop- were for the avowed purpose of protecting the Judges of 
the Superior Court, yet, Maurice Moore, one of these, Boon 
asked of him this pertinent question: "Did the Judges or 
the Attorney-General address your Excellency for protection? 
So far from it, Sir, if these gentlemen are to he believed, they 
never entertained the least suspicion of any insult, unless it was 
that which they afterwards experienced from the undue influence 
you offered to extend to them, and the military displaj of 
drums, colors, and guards, with which they were surrounded 
and disturbed. "t In a province whose only turbulence grew 
out of the fact of its poverty, this vain and truculent ruler then 
raised an army of eleven hundred men, officered in the following 
ridiculous stylc:^ Major-Generals, John Ashe and Thomas 
Lloyd; Lieutenant-Generals, John Rutherford, Lewi- Henry 
DeBosset, John Sampson, Robert Palmer, Benjamin Heron and 
Samuel Strudwickj Brigadiers or Majors of Brigade, Aimer 
Nash and Robert Howe; Colonels, Adlai Osborne, Edmund 
Panning, Robert Hani-, .lame- Sampson, Samuel Spencer, 
•lames Moore and hi- brother, Judge Maurice Moore; Lieu- 
tenant-Colonels, John Prohock, Moses Alexander, Alexander 
Lillington, John Cray, Samuel Benton and Robert Shaw: 

*Tryon's Journal, 1768. tAtti.u- Letter, 1771. 

■ Wheeler, vol. 1 1, page 1 1 , 

1768. HUSBANDS' TRIAL. 117 

Majors, William Bullock, Walter Lindsay, Thomas Lloyd, 
Martin Phifer and John Hinton.* 

Thus, once again, the Lieutenant-Colonel of Her Majesty's 
Guards had found excuse for a military display. Putting- him- 
self at the head of his force, he marched for Hillsboro, where 
he arrived September 21st. The next day His Majesty's Jus- 
tices, Martin Howard, Maurice Moore and Richard Henderson, 
attended bv three Sheriffs with drawn swords, marched with a 
pomp which must have excited Governor Tryon's envy, into 
the court house. The Regulators had been apprised of all that 
had been done in Mecklenburg and Rowan, and were fully pre- 
pared for the approach of Governor Tryon and his troops. 
These latter were placed around the court house, and half a 
mile away on the hills could be seen thirty-seven hundred men 
of the Regulators, who asked leave of the Governor to conic 
in, but being told they must disarm before enjoying that privi- 
lege, remained where they were, with the exception of thirty, 
who surrendered their fire arms and quietly took their places 
among the spectators in the court room.f 

After so long a time, Herman Husbands, the real author of 
a great portion of the troubles, was on trial for participation in 
a riot. He had been arrested May 2nd, and notwithstanding 
all his speeches and sermons urging the duty of the people to 
resist their oppressions, we have his own confession of what 
a craven-hearted wretch the noisy demagogue really was. 
He wrote : 

"It came into my mind if I made Colonel Fanning some promises, lie would 
let me go. So on my own motion he was sent for, who signified to me he had 
been asleep, and was called and told I wanted to see him, and he had come to 
see what I wanted with him. Says I, if 1 may go home, I will promise not 
to concern myself any more whether yon take large fees or not. It took with 
him, and after humming a little, he repeated over what I must promise, 
which, near as I can remember, was to this effect: You promise never to give 
your opinion of the laws, nor frequent assembling yourself among people, nor 

*Tryon's Journal, 1768. 

t Wheeler, vol. II, page 310; Regulation, page 17. 


-Imu any* jealousy of the officers taking extraordinary fees; and if you hear 
any others speaking disrespectfully or hinting any jealousies of that nature of 
officers, thai yon reproveand caution them, and that you will tell the people 
you are satisfied all the taxes are agreeable to law, and do everything in your 
power to moderate and pacify them. All of which I promised, with a par- 
ticular exception, that when any election was on hand, 1 reserved liberty to 
assemble myself among the people, and to have liberty to converse, and to 
this lie said, to be sure."* 

Nearly four thousand men had assembled to watch the for- 
tunes of a wretch, who could thus bo easily agree to abandon 
their cause when danger seemed threatening himself. He was 
acquitted of the charge laid against him in the bill found by the 
grand jury, bul William Butler and two others, far more inno- 
cent than Husbands, were convicted and committed to prison for 
six months, with the added punishment of heavy fines 

Colonel Edmund Fanning likewise, was indicted at the same 
time in five different cases for extortion in office. He pleaded 
"not guilty," but was convicted in all and sentenced by the 
court to pay a fine of one penny in each case.;] These five 
entries in the handwriting of James Watson, Clerk of the 
Superior Court of Orange county, may be yet inspected, and are 
the dumb, yet eloquent witnesses of the eternal shame resting 
upon the memory of that court. It is hard to believe that 
Maurice Moore could have been consenting to such a mockery 
of justice. He had l>een loud in his denunciations of such 
crimes as those whereof Fanning now stood convicted, and had 
gone to such lengths thai the partisans of Tryon were open in 
their charges of complicity on hi> part with the worst schemes 
of the Regulators.! His subsequent course in the General 
Assembly, where he was so powerful in shielding the defeated 
insurgents, showed that be had not lost hi> sympathies for the 
outraged people. A.gain, when Judge Howard was driven 
from the court house in Hillsboro in 177<>, Judge Moore was 

Regulation, page 17. | Martin, vol. II. page 243. 

JWheeler, vol. II. page 322. gWheeler, vol. It. page 316. 

[Jones' I •• fi ace, page '•'■'•■ 


treated with consideration.* The subsequent violence of the 
Regulators to both of his colleagues is proof positive that on 
the names of Martin Howard, Chief- Justice, and Richard Hen- 
derson, his associate, should lie the odium of an infamous 
defeat of justice. They allowed Governor Tryon, with his loose 
morals and bad passions, to sully the reputation of a court which 
might have been illustrious for rectitude as it was for the real 
learning of the Judges. Howard has paid a fearful penalty in 
the obloquy historians have cast upon his name, but Richard 
Henderson, in the virtues of his nobler sons, has been so mantled 
by charitable speeches, that his name has gone unwhipped of 
justice.! It will be observed however, that he filled no more 
office of trust in North Carolina, but hid in his western 
Cherokee speculations from a public gaze which was probably 
uncomfortable to him in the scene of his late judicial error.;}; 
The Regulators who were in prison for riot did not remain long. 
Two of them broke down the door and walked out, but the 
third refused to leave the prison until Governor Tryon had 
extended pardon to all three. § His Excellency, on the rise of 

tXoTE. — That the above criticisms on Judge Henderson are snppor ed by 
the facts of the case is painfully evident in the letter of Governor Tryon to the 
Earl of Hillsboro, dated March 11th, 1771. His conduct toward the Kegu- 
lators is there fully endorsed by the violent and truculent accomplice of 
Edmund Fanning, and two most pregnant facts stated as to the opinion of the 
House of Assembly and the people at large touching the Judge's course. 
The House, by resolution, gave him a terrible rebuke, and the Eegulators of 
the upper country burned his house, stables and four of his horses. 

£Note. — Governor Tryon in his dispatches to the Earl of Hillsborough 
wrote that Colonel Edmund Fanning, though technically guilty of exceeding 
the amount of the fees allowed by law, was yet innocent because he did so 
ignorantly ; not understanding the terms of the statute regulating such things. 
This was remarkable when it is remembered that this same Fanning had 
served as a Judge, and like Mannaduke Jones had recently declined the very 
position held by Judge Henderson. The only thing he ever did that was 
graceful or proper as a public officer while in North Carolina was then seen in 
his resignation of his place as Registrar of Orange county. 

*Jones' Defence, page 72. JWheeler, vol. I, page 103. 


the court, issued another of hi> frequent and unmeaning pro- 
clamations, pardoning all persons concerned in the late disturb- 
ances except James Hunter, Xinian Hamilton, Peter ('ravin. 
[saac Jackson, Herman Husbands, Matthew Hamilton, William 
Payne, Xinian Bell Hamilton, Malachi Fyke, William Mofiat, 
Christopher Nation. Solomon Gorf and John O'Neal. 

Governor Tryon left Hillsboro and met the Assembly at New- 
Bern, November 3rd.* The Speaker of the House of Assembly, 
Colonel John Harvey, called the attention of the Burgesses to 
t In address of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 
agreed to on the 11th of the preceding February, and Bent out 
to the popular Representatives in the Legislatures of the several 
provinces. It requested concert of action in the matter of the 
proposed English taxation of America, and solicited an expres- 
sion of the views and intents of the North Carolinians in the 
matter. This communication was taken under advisement, but 
no immediate reply given to the wise and considerate men of 
New England. t The Governor's Cherokee expedition necessi- 
tated a new issue of a hundred thousand dollars in public notes, 
to meet which an addition of two shillings was added to the poll 
tax.J A new Court District was established at Salisbury, and 
the new county of Tryon carved out of the territory of Meck- 
lenburg. On .May 6th, 17<i!», the General Assembly, which had 
met three times, was dissolved by proclamation.?; 

As the year 1709 progressed, it became more and more evident 
that the late display of military force had only aggravated the 
evils which Governor Tryon supposed could be dragooned at his 
pleasure. John Lea. the Sheriff of Orange, in attempting to 
Berve a peace wan-ant on John Pugh and three other Regula- 
tors, was attacked and most cruelly beaten. New leagues of 
the order had already been established in Rowan and Anson. || 
But the Governor, having been bo ordered by the English Min- 

Public A'K page 167. (-Martin, vol. II. page 224. 

(Public Ait-, page L69. gMartin, vol. II. page 250. 

Martin, vol. 1 1. j>ai_'>- 235. 


istry, on September 9th issued another proclamation conveying 
free pardon to all concerned heretofore convicted or not, of 
crimes of any kind connected with the Regulation. 

The new Assembly met at New-Bern, October 23rd. It had 
been freshly chosen by the people.* Governor Tryon was very 
gracious in his address to the two Houses. He informed them 
that the Crown had been pleased to remit to America the manage- 
ment of Indian affairs, and in relation to their recent solicita- 
tions for emission of further currency, that the King could not 
dispense with the act of Parliament controlling the issue of legal 
tenders in the colony, and that no petitions on that subject could 
hope to meet with success. He concluded by saying that he was 
authorized to assure them that it was not the intention of the 
King's ministers to lay any further tax on America for purposes 
of revenue, but that those in existence would soon be decreased.! 
After other deceptive statements as to the King's intentions, he 
added a request for a further supply of powder and lead. 

The Burgesses answered the Governor that they were pleased 
to hear of the King's intentions, but would be more so when 
they had seen the promises ripen into deeds. They considered 
the fresh supplies of warlike stores wholly unnecessary and con- 
cluded by agreeing with him that the province's finances needed 
revision and an intelligent statement as to their real condition. % 
These proceedings of the North Carolina Assembly were, on the 
9th of the ensuing May, the subject of debate in the British 
House of Commons, when a member, named Drake, introduced 
a motion that the address of the House of Assembly "was 
derogatory to His Majesty's honor and the freedom of parlia- 
mentary deliberation ; which motion, upon division, was nega- 
tived.! On November 2nd, Mr. Speaker Harvey laid before 
the House a communication from the Virginia House of Bur- 
gesses similar in purport to that recently received from Massa- 
chusetts, but stating they had prepared an address to the King 

*Public Acts, page 171. fMartin, vol. II, page 252. 

JMartin, vol. II, page 253. gMartin, vol. II, page 253. 


and Parliament, and requested the co-operation of North Caro- 
lina. It was resolved by the Souse of Assembly thai the sole 
righl of imposing taxes then, and ever had existed in the Bur- 
gesses of North Carolina, "lawfully enlivened with the consent 
of the Council, the King or his Governor. That it was the 
undoubted privilege of the inhabitants of the province to petition 
the King for redress of grievances, and it was lawful and 

expedient to procure the c jurrence of the other colonies, in 

dutiful addresses, praying the royal inquisition in favor of the 
violated rights of America."* 

An address was prepared for the King expressing the loyalty 
of North Carolina to the throne, and regret that this disposition 
had been traduced. They expressed their horror of the new 
habit of seizing and carrying beyond the sea-. American citizens 
charged with violating the Navigation Acts, who were thus 
deprived of the ancient righl of trial by jury of the vicinage. 
This address and the resolutions passed without a dissenting 
vote, and Henry Eustace McCulloh was re-appointed English 
agent, and instructed to have them presented to the King and 
thereafter published in the London paper-. A singular episode 
then occurred in that era of startling vicissitudes. The Bur- 
gesses had just finished their wise and patriotic resolutions when 
Isaac Edwards, the (Jovernor's Secretary, made his appearance 
in the House with a message from His Excellency, which 
informed them in indignant terms, that "such resolves after his 
recent assurances had sapped the foundation of confidence and 
gratitude, blighted his hopes of further service to the province, 
and made it his indispensable duty to at once conclude their 
session/'f It was the most amazing fact in the history of Gov- 
ernor Tryon's administration, that then and there, John Harvey, 
Richard ( laswell, John Ashe, and many other brave and reverend 
men, stooped to the degradation of returning an apolog) 
for what they had done, t<> the pompous and paltry incarnation 

Martin, vol. II. page 268. ^Martin, vol. II. page 261. 


of the very evils that they had so eloquently and manfully por- 
trayed. No fact is more discreditable in our history than the 
ascendency which Tryon then demonstrated over men, who 
should have been wise enough to have scorned him as he de- 
served. They had not forgotten how he had bridled North 
Carolina and prevented an Assembly through all the stamp 
trouble. They knew too his bad faith in the disposition of 
their funds in running the Cherokee boundary and building his 
palace. It is impossible to believe that they condoned all his 
falsehood, effrontery and treachery at Hillsboro. Yet, to such 
a man they could stoop to justify their official conduct, and 
beg-o-ed him not to attribute their recent resolutions to a loss of 
confidence and grateful remembrance of his services, and took 
that opportunity to declare to the world the benefits of his 
administration, which they were assured would obtain for him 
the blessings of posterity.* As a commentary upon such folly, 
there needs but be read the story of the conduct of these same 
North Carolinians towards Josiah Martin, who to William Tryon 
was as light is to darkness in the sum of their several iniquities, f 

fNoTE. — With the advent of the new year, 1770, the prospect grew more 
ominous of trouble between the Governor and the people of the western 
counties. Trade was increasing and the opening of the new inlet into Cape 
Eear River which had been effected by a storm a few years before, did not seem 
to have injured the older entrance at the mouth of the stream. Captain Rob- 
inson, with H. B. M. ship Fowey, drawing fourteen feet of water, was reported 
as entering on half tide and the inlet was considered better than that at 
Charleston. Iron forges were erected on the Trent River in Craven, one in 
Rowan and still another on Deep River in Orange. Large quantities of 
molasses were consumed in New-Bern and Wilmington in the production of 
rum. John Hawks, the architect, was made Collector at Beaufort, as the 
palace was rapidly approaching a state when it would be ready for the Gov- 
ernor's occupation. A storm on September 9th, 1769, as violent and even 
more destructive than that of 1879, had destroyed a large portion of New- 
Bern, where six persons were drowned in the unprecedented flood. % 

*Martin, vol. II, page 261. 

JT. C. Howe to Governor Tryon, September 10th, 1769. 



With the lapse of the year 1770 came fresh troubles from the 
Regulators. They had now spread over a large portion of the 
State. They were led in Halifax by Alexander McCulloh, a 
member of* Governor Dobbs' Council •* in Granville bv Thomas 
Person,! a member of the House of Assembly; so also in 
Orange by Herman Husbands, a member of the same body. In 
Guilford, Alexander Martin, a Burgess, was one of their number 
and even in Brunswick such a man as Colonel William Dry was 
at least an active sympathizer, and he was soon also to become a 
member of His Majesty's Council for North Carolina.! The 
contagion spread to the very doors of the almost finished palace 
of Governor Tryon. Simon Bright, Sheriff of Dobbs, in attempt- 
ing the arrest of Thomas Blake and John Conlin, who were 
spreading the sedition, was driven off and James Lindsay of his 
po.sse was slain.§ 

Judge Maurice Moore held the March Superior Court at Salis- 
bury but reported to the Governor that the Sheriffs of the coun- 
ties composing that Judicial District, informed him that such 
opposition was made to the performance of their official duties, by 
the Regulators, that it was impossible to collect the taxes or levy 
an execution. Judge Moore said he was satisfied that these were 
" plain proofs, among others, that their designs have extended 
further than to promote public inquiry into the conduct of pub- 

JNotk. — Thirty men of Edgecombe made a violent hut fruitless attempt to 

break the Halifax jail for the release of one O'Neal, there confined under a 
eharge of sedition. In Johnston county, the Inferior Court had assembled, 
when the Justices were informed that a hody of seventy men was close at 
hand and coming to repeat tin- outrages lately seen in Anson and Orange- 
The court was adjourned, and the Magistrates, with their friend-, marched to 
encounter the rioters. With the Sheriff as Generalissimo, and armed with 
hickory -ticks, ;i battle was fought mar Smith field, which resulted in a 
glorious hut hloodless victory to the offended court officials and their sup- 

*Foote, page •"><). fJones, page 73. 

I Jones, page 91. 


lie officers."* On the 24th of September, Judge Henderson 
opened Court in Hillsboro. The Regulators were present in 
great force.f "Husbands, James Hunter, William Butler, Samuel 
Divinny and many others insulted some of the gentlemen of the 
bar, and in a riotous manner went into the court house, and 
forcibly carried out some of the attorneys and in a cruel manner 
beat them. They then insisted that the Judge, Richard Hen- 
derson being the only one on the bench, should proceed to trial 
of their leaders, who had been indicted at a former court, and 
that the jury should be taken out of their own party. There- 
fore the Judge, finding it impossible to proceed with honor to 
himself and justice to his country, adjourned the court until to- 
morrow at 10 o'clock, took advantage of the night, made his 
escape and the court adjourned to meet in course."! Judge 
Henderson at once conveyed information of the outrage to the 
Governor and Council, recommending that the Legislature 
should be immediately assembled, and military levies effected. 
The Council did not approve of Judge Henderson's violent 
remedies, but while in session, granted a charter to Hills- 
boro in order that Edmund Fanning might regain his lost seat 
in the Legislature. This was indeed a most singular peace- 
offering to Orange county, where Fanning was regarded as the 
chief author of their misfortunes. In the storm that followed 
this new cause of offense, Governor Tryon fortified New- 
Bern, lest the Regulators should execute their threats of coming 
down in arms, and preventing their old enemy from taking his 
seat. The militia around were put under marching orders, and 
the Craven Battalion of Colonel Leach, actually occupied the 
new trenches for the protection of the Legislature.^ The mem- 
bers were received in grand style in the Governor's new palace, 
and such was his inflation over the recent apologies of the Bur- 
gesses, and his occupancy of so splendid a house, that, aping the 
royal ceremonials, he sat with Mrs. Tryon in elbow chairs in 

*Martin, vol. II, page 263. fMartin, vol. II, page 264. 

JOrange County Records. § Martin, vol. II, page 26. 


the middle of the hull room, where his obedient subjects were 
expected to dance minuets in his honor.* 

A large proportion of the Assembly wen; new members, and 
their attention was drawn to the unsatisfactory state of the public 
debt. It was still unascertained as to its amount and there was 
general complaint of the quantity of Counterfeit bills in circu- 
lation. The Governor also laid before them depositions as to 
the late outrageous proceedings during the session of the Supe- 
rior Court at Hillsboro, and recommended the employment of an 
efficient and armed force to be marched into the insurgent settle- 
ments. He returned thanks for the noble' edifice in which he 
received them, and in conclusion informed them that he had the 
King's consent to his early departure for England. f 

The Assembly bewailed the departure spoken of by His 
Excellency, and lamented as a misfortune peculiar to their pro- 
vince, that so soon as a Governor became of real use in his 
acquaintance with the people and their laws, he was by some 
ill-fortune sure to be removed; which was as sentimental a> 
unfounded in the Burgesses, for all the royal Governors had 
remained until removed by death except Burrington ; and 
Tryon like him was to leave the province, as the greatest boon 
possibly within his power to bestow. 

A seditious article, which was in effect a gross libel upon 
Maurice Moore, one of the Associate Justices of the Superior 
Court, published in the New-Bern Ga:rtf< y arrested the attention 
of the Lower House, and it was referred to the Committee on 
Propositions and Grievances. Herman Husbands, one of the 
members for Orange county, was understood to be its author. 
For two years past he had pursued Judge Moore with all the 
force and malignity of his nature. His resentment grew out of 
the fact that the Judge would not prostitute hi> official position 
to aid Husbands and his Regulators. Great stress had been 
laid upon Moore's letter to Fanning, and its author was 
denounced as a coward, who would not stand by his friends 

The Aniens Letter, page 8. fMartin, vol. II. page '2t)6. 

1770. HUSBANDS IN JAIL. 127 

because of his fears of their enemies.* Husbands being sum- 
moned before the committee, so prevaricated that his conduct 
was referred to the House then in Committee of the Whole, who 
upon rising, reported that he was the author of the piece; that 
he was the chief agent in the late Orange disturbances, and 
furthermore, he had threatened that on the event of his con- 
finement by the House, the Regulators would come down and 
release him. The committee was of opinion that this insinu- 
ation was a daring insult offered to the House, intended to 
intimidate the members in discharge of their duty. The House 
concurred in this report and resolved that Husbands, having 
rendered himself unworthy of a seat, should be expelled from 
the body. Chief-Justice Howard, at the instance of the Gov- 
ernor, issued a bench-warrant and committed the disgraced 
chief of the Regulators to jail, where he lay for several weeks. 
Husbands' audacious threat to the House of Assembly was not 
an empty menace. It was soon afterwards discovered that 
upon the news of his trouble reaching Orange, steps were at 
once taken to raise forces and march to his rescue.f 

These misguided people, however much justified in their 
original movements, had become an intolerable nuisance — an 
impediment alike to legislation and the administration of public 
justice. Governor Tryon's silly and bloodless military parades 
had inflamed them to a point past all endurance. The General 
Assembly passed an act to repress the growing tendencv to 
tumultuous assemblages.! It provided that every Justice of the 
Peace or Sheriff, on being informed of a collection of any number 
of persons above ten, for the purpose of disturbing the peace, 
should repair to them, and require and command them to dis- 
perse and return to their several places of abode. It was made 
felony, without benefit of clergy, for such persons to remain 
assembled, to the number of ten, for more than an hour. It 
was made the duty of the Justices and Sheriffs to call the a^si — 

*Regulation, page 16. f Martin, vol. II, page 273. 

^Public Acts, page 172; Martin, vol. II, page 269. 


tanoe of any of the King's able subjects, to apprehend the per- 
son's thus continuing together. It was also made felony for ten 
or more to disturb the proceedings of any court, to assault or 
threaten a Judge or officer of court during the term, or to resist 
a lawful officer in the discharge of his duties, or violently to 
destroy a house of any kind. It was further ordained, in view 
of the obstructions to justice in disaffected counties, that the 
Attorney-General should be at liberty to select :i oemu at his 
pleasure for holding Pleas of the Crown, and on indictment 
found and proclamation made, upon failure of defendants to 
surrender themselves for trial, to be held guilty and outlawed, 
and their lands and chattels forfeited. The Governor was 
empowered to make drafts from the militia, to enforce the execu- 
tion of the law, and all persons found in arms and resisting 
such force and refusing submission at the command of a Sheriff 
or Justice, were to be treated as traitors.* 

To impair the strength of the Regulators, the new counties 
of Wake, Chatham and Guilford, were detached from Orange, 

*£TOTE. — This stringent statute was in contravention of an ancient privilege 
of the English people. The XXIV Article of Magna Charta provided thai 
no "amercements shall he assessed hut by the oath of honest and lawful men 
of the vicinity." It was then regretted by some of the wisest men of the 
province that the Assembly had yielded to the importunities of Governor 
Tryon and disregarded this great safeguard of freedom. Thomas Barker, 
then the Treasurer for the Northern District, was recognized 88 one of the 
ablest practicing lawyers in North Carolina and he joined Maurice Moore in 
condemning this dangerous innovation upon the Constitution. He further- 
more refused to honor the extraordinary drafts Governor Tryon at that time 
began drawing on himself and John Burgwinn, the Southern Treasurer, 

and by so doing prevented the counties in his portion of the province from 
contributing forces to the Alamance expedition. + This harsh invasion of an- 
cient legal rules grew out of a recommendation, first offered by Jndge Richard 
Henderson, in his report of the disturbances at Sillsboro, in which he insisted 
that the Regulators could not he convicted there and recommended tlic change 

of locality for holding the Pleas of the Crown.]: 

t Bancroft, vol. VI, page 393; Aiticua Letter. 
(Martin, vol. II, page 264. 


and Surry from Rowan. As a means of partial relief in the 
great scarcity of money, lands and goods taken in execution, 
were forbidden to be sold by the Sheriffs, unless two-thirds of 
their appraised value could be obtained.* 

At the end of January, 1771, as the Assembly was about to 
rise, information reached New-Bern that a large force of the 
Regulators had collected at Cross Creek, now Fayetteville, with 
the avowed intent of burning the Governor's palace. Twenty- 
five hundred dollars were voted to enable Governor Tryon to 
make suitable defence, and thereupon the Legislature was pro- 
rogued until January 26th. f 

It was determined, in March, by the Council, that a force 
should be raised from several regiments of militia and the Gov- 
ernor was advised to march at their head for the purpose of re- 
ducing the Regulators to obedience,! and while the troops were 
among them, to enable the Sheriffs to collect the taxes and pro- 
tect the election of a new member from Orange in place of 
Herman Husbands, and also to enable the commissioners to run 
the dividing line between Orange and Guilford. It was rightly 
considered that none of these measures could be executed without 
the employment of strong military force. Brutal mobs ranged 
unchallenged from where Raleigh now stands, to Charlotte. 
On April 24th, preceding, they had beaten the amiable and 
harmless John Williams, who was afterwards one of the first 
appointments as a State Judge, and at the same time cudgelled 

fNoTE. — So eager was Governor Tryon to take advantage of the Riot Act, 
that on February 6th, he had called by special commission, the Judges to 
New-Bern. He utterly failed in inducing the Grand Jury to indict Herman 
Husbands for libel on Judge Moore and that worthy, though combining as a 
Quaker and preacher, extraordinary reasons for not harboring resentment, left 
New-Bern jail in no forgiving frame of mind. He had lain in prison for 
seven weeks and only obtained his discharge by means of the man, for abusing 
whom, he had met with such cruel interruption to his rising fortunes as a 
Senator. $ 

*Martin, vol. II, page 279. fMartin, vol. II, page 263. 

JMartin, vol. II, page 274. ^Bancroft, vol. VI, page 393. 


unmercifully their old enemy, Edmund Fanning, and attempted 
violence to Judge Henderson.* March stli, 1771, they cap- 
tured Waightstil] Avery at Yadkin Ferry, and be was carried 

to their camp in the woods, where one of the Hamilton.- indulged 
in the following harangue to a Listening crowdrf " What busi- 
uess has Maurice Moore to he a Judge? He is no Judge; he 
was not appointed by the King. He nor Henderson neither. 
The Assembly has gone and made a riotous act that enrages the 
people more than ever. It was the Itest thing that could be 
done for the country, for now we shall be forced to kill all the 
clerks and lawyers, and I'll be damned if they are not all put 
to death! II" they had not made that act we might have 
SU tiered some to live. A riotous act! There never was such 
an act in the laws of England, or in any other country but 
France, and they'll bring the Inquisition next."! 

Herman Husbands having, in company with his lieutenant, 
James Hunter, visited Rowan, almost as much disorder was 
visible there as in Orange.§ John Frohoek was Clerk of the 
County Court, and with his brother, Thomas Frohoek, Clerk 
of the Superior Court, was as notorious as Edmund Fanning 
for merciless exactions. Griffith Rutherford was Sheriff, with 
still another Frohoek for his deputy. After some violence to 
Colonel Samuel Spencer, an eminent attorney, and others, a 
compromise and reference were effected. General Hugh Wad- 
dell about this time came up with orders from Governor Tryon 
to embody the militia of Mecklenburg, Rowan and Anson, and 
was waiting for further directions, in his headquarters at Salis- 
bury^ At New-Bern, the Superior ( !ourt met again in special ses- 
sion March 11th, and bills of indictment were found against many 
of tli*- leading Regulators for assault upon John Williams and 
the riotous destruction of Colonel Fanning's dwelling house.** 
The large force of Regulators which assembled at Cross Creek 

*\V heeler, vol. II, page 14. tWheeler, vol. II, page 1">. 

| \\, iv's Deposition, 1771. {The Regulation, p^f -7. 

Wheeler, vol. II. page 359. Martin, vol. II. y.v^v ui">. 


for the purpose of rescuing Herman Husbands and destroying 
the Governor's palace, gave up the latter project upon hearing 
that their chief had been released.* It is the saddest commen- 
tary upon the intelligence and patriotism of these poor people, 
that they should have lavished so much affection upon the 
selfish and cowardly miscreant, who could even forget his craft 
in boasting of his influence over them for evil. He had inti- 
mated to the House of Assembly his power to summon his elan 
for his rescue, and it is to the shame of their memories that he 
spoke the truth. f 

It has been the habit in North Carolina to assail the motives 
of Governor Tryon for the military movement which he inaugu- 
rated in the month of March. Whatever may have been his 
previous errors and mistakes, there can be no rational denial of 
his eminent prudence and propriety on this occasion. The 
Judges of the Courts, His Majesty's Council, and the House 
of Assembly all joined in insisting that lie should raise the 
forces of the province and abate a nuisance that was making 
North Carolina a stench in the nostrils of all civilized com- 
munities. Though the Regulation was first planned in resist- 
ance to the meanest of tyrannies, it had become the enemy of 
all true liberty and order; and was only the tool of one base 
and designing man. There is a tradition which avers that some 
compromise had been recently effected in Orange,]; but this was 

fThe Regulators who had been collected at Cross Creek by James Hunter 
and Rednap Howell tor the New-Bern expedition, did not disband upon 
hearing that Husbands had been released. Five hundred of tliera took up 
the line of march with the purpose of regulating Salisbury Superior Court, 
where their best friend in all the province was presiding as Judge. It was 
on this occasion that he lost hope of controlling their councils for good, and 
sorrowfully informed the Governor of the violence and disorders in the West- 
ern Circuit. That Maurice Moore should have conceded the necessity of 
Governor Tryon's coercive measures is the most pregnant circumstance in all 
that unhappy year in vindication of the stern policy so recently adopted.;; 

■Martin, vol. II, page 274. JJones' Defence, page 45. 

^Bancroft, vol. VI, page 391. 



like -nine death-bed repentance which comes too late as an earthly 
atonement, whatever it- efficacy in the courts above. Governor 
Tryon's manifest duty was to raise an army; to march that 
army into ( Grange county ; to arrest the men under Indictment ; 
to enable the Sherifls to collect the taxes, and to drive off oppo- 
sition t<» the tracing of the new line between Guilford and 
Orange."* If be was obstructed by force in the performance of 

these duties, on the heads of hi.- opponents and not his, lie- the 
guilt of the blood at Alamance. 

Governor Tryon set otit from New-Hern, April '1\. He was 
attended by several members of the Council and a Dumber of 
prominent eastern gentlemen as volunteers upon his staff. Colo- 
nels Joseph Leach of Craven, Richard Caswell of Dobbs, 
Craig of Onslow, Thompson of Carteret, Needham Bryan of 
Beaufort, Captain John B. Ashe of New Hanover, with Cap- 
tain James Moore's company of artillery, and a company of 
mounted rangers, < aptain Neale, constituted the King's forces, 
until they were joined on May 4th at Hunter's Lodge in Wake 
county, by another detachment under Colonel John Hinton of 
that vicinity. Governor Tryon delayed his inarch at this point 
until he was rejoined by a battalion which he sent with the 
Sheriff of Wake to collect taxes. On the 9th he camped upon 

Eno River, near Hillsboro, where he was re-inforced by Colonel 
Edmund Panning with such of the Orange men a- he could 
summon to hi- aid. 

At this point, the Commander-in-chief received a dispatch 
from General Hugh Waddell, conveying information of disaster 
to the campaign planned by His Excellency. General Wad- 
dell had been Sent to Salisbury to assume command of" the same 
forces with which Governor Tryon had marched to I [illsboro 
three years before. But the political complexion had very much 

altered in that time, and it may he that General Waddell, 
though a gallant and experienced officer, was greatly lacking in 

•Martin, vol. 1 1, page 27 I. 


that personal magnetism which made Governor Tryon a very 
Absalom among men with whom he came in immediate 
contact. General Waddell could not thus run away with the 
hearts of the people. He could not render General Assemblies 
sentimental and unhistorical in their regrets for his proposed 
departure. The brave old veteran had even failed in 1759, in 
leading from the provincial limits, his forces sent against the 
Cherokees.* His first trouble had been in the loss of four 
wagons seized at Phifer's Hill, near Concord, by a party of 
youths who sympathized with the Regulators. Young James 
White, afterwards a gallant officer in the American army, 
headed the eight " Black Boys" and utterly destroyed the ammu- 
nition which had almost reached Salisbury in the long route 
from Charleston. f General Waddell marched with three hun- 
dred and forty men from Salisbury with the intention of joining 
the force with Governor Tryon, and had crossed the Yadkin 
only a few miles on his route, when he was confronted by a 
superior force of the enemy, who barred his way and offered 
battle.^ General Waddell called a council of war on Potts' 
Creek, May 10th, and soon found from his officers that such 
disaffection existed in their ranks that a great portion of them 
had formed a resolution to join in no attack upon the Regu- 
lators. Thus the most experienced military officer in the King's 
service in all the province, was forced to a necessary and humili- 
ating retreat. § 

Governor Tryon, upon the reception of this disastrous news 
from the west, exhibited both courage and judgment in his 
prompt determination to march at once in search of the Regu- 
lators.|| He was apprehensive that the enemy would reach Haw 
River in time to dispute his passage of that stream. Having 
left his sick and other impediments at Hillsboro, and having 
been re-inforced by a troop of light-horse under Captain Bul- 

*Martin, vol. II, page 99. tWheeler, vol. II, page 65. 

^Governor Tryon's Report. JFoote's Sketclic.-.. 

)| Martin, vol. II, page 272. 


lock of Granville, the army was pushed forward across the 
Haw and a position occupied on the 14th of May close by the 
waters of the little stream known as Great Alamance. Gov- 
ernor Tryon, with bis forces then amounting t<» eleven hundred 
men, bivouacked on the road leading from Hillsboro to Salis- 
bury. Heavy guards were set and abundant precautions taken 
against Burprise. 

The Regulators were discovered in camp six miles away in 
the direction of Salisbury, On the loth, Herman Husbands, 
who like an evil spirit had so long labored for the undoing >\ 
the people he was then leading to destruction, with his charac- 
teristic duplicity, wrote a communication to Governor Tryon. to 
which he procured the signature- of John Williams and four 
other Regulators.* The humble tone of the paper was in -in- 
gular and disgusting contrast with all their recent words and 
acts. The substance of it was, would Governor Tryon in four 
hours tell them whether he would listen to a fresh recital of 
their injuries, and grant them redress, "which happy change," 
wrote he, "would yield such alacrity and promulgate such har- 
mony in poor, pensive North Carolina, that the presaged tragedy 
of the warlike troops, marching with ardor to meet each other, 
may, by the happy conduct of our leaders on each Bide, be pre- 
vented." Governor Tryon answered the next day that lie could 
but Lament the fatal necessity to which they had reduced him of 

an appeal to the sword, and that he had no term.- to offer but 
their laying down of arms, the surrender of their outlawed 
chiefs and submission to the laws of their country. ( )n the 16th 
Governor Tryon moved at daybreak and halted a hall' mile 
from the insurgents. They had captured the day before, Cap- 
tains John 15. Ashe and John Walker, and after inflicting cruel 
beatings upon these unfortunate gentlemen, now announced their 
determination to put them in front of the ranks in order that 
they might receive the tire of their friends.f 

Wlnelcr, vol. II. p;iL r >- L5. tM.irtin. vol. II. page '_M. 


Colonel Bryan, with the Johnston county detachment, formed 
a guard to the camp and remained in the rear. Governor 
Trvon's forces took position in two lines of battle one hundred 
yards apart. The troops from Craven and Beaufort, under 
Colonel Leach, occupied the right wing of the front line. Those 
of Carteret and Orange were on the left. The two pieces of 
field artillery, which had been obtained from General Gage, were 
posted in the centre, between the lines, and were commanded by 
Captain Moore. Col. Caswell, with three companies from 
Dobbs, and the Xew Hanover battalion, . occupied the right 
flank of the rear line, while Colonel Craig, with troops from 
Onslow and Johnston, was aligned upon his left. Colonel Hin- 
ton, with a company from Wake, and the Duplin dragoons, con- 
stituted the rear guard, and the two companies of rangers under 
Captains Bullock and Xeale, were posted for the protection of 
either flank.* Rev. Dr. David Caldwell and Alexander Martin, 
afterwards so prominent in the State, made fruitless appeals to 
both parties for peace.f The Governor having sent in his reply 
to the Regulators, waited an hour for their consideration, both 
parties having in the meanwhile advanced within three hundred 
yards of each other. A Justice of the Peace was sent forward 
to read the riot act, to which the Regulators answered with loud 
cries of "Battle !" 

The insurgents observed no military formation, but occupied 
the front of the King's forces to the number of about two thou- 
sand.^ Only a few of them possessed fire-arms, and they had 
but ammunition enough for a very t'vw rounds. ( 'aptains Ashe 
and Walker were still in the enemy's hands, though seven men 
had been offered for their exchanged Robert Thompson, in 
his effort to escape from detention, was fired upon and killed by 
Governor Tryon, which circumstance being witnessed by the 
Regulators, they in turn, fired upon a flag of truce, when the 

* Jones' Defence, page 51. fEoote's Sketches, page 60. 

^Governor Tryon's report of the battle. 
^.Martin, vol. II, page 281. 


Governor ordered his troops to fire. This mandate was not 
immediately executed, when the excited commander arose in his 
stirrups and shouted, "Fire on them or on me," and the action af 

once became general.* 

It was now 12 o'clock, and the battle raged for a lull half 
hour with l»oth sides exhibiting the utmost resolution. Gov- 
ernor Tryon's troops, by his own statement, were greatly bene- 
fitted by the fire of the two pieces of artillery. t The ((emulator.-. 

like all fresh levies, suffered more from the ral effect of the 

cannonade than the actual damage inflicted. After stubbornly 
contesting the field for a half hour, the insurgents gradually 
gave ground, and from then until '2 o'clock kept up the fight 
from behind the trees. Their lire slackened for want of ammu- 
nition, hut James Pugh was still bravely heading a party that 
was destructive to the artillerymen, when Governor Tryon 
advanced his first line and captured him in clearing the woods 
of sharp-shooters. The battle was now lost and tin fugitives 
were followed beyond their camps, where many borsesand a few 
stores were captured. Governor Tryon reported his loss at nine 
killed and sixty-one wounded, but does not give the particulars 
of casualties on the other side. Maurice Moore asserted that the 
Regulators lost a hundred men killed, but the number of their 
wounded is whollv unascertained. 1' His Excellency's conduct 
was such, in the brief time of his stay in North Carolina after 
the battle, that all possible means were probably used to conceal 
the names of those of the Regulators who had been in the 
engagement. A ruler who could find it in his heart to order 
the hanging of SO pitiable an object as demented .lames Few. 
and then destroy the property of his parents, produced as much 
effort to hide the wounded men as was practiced in Egypt in 
saving the Hebrew babies from the clutches of another of like 
tyrannic disposition. 

Marian, vol, II. page 282. fGovernor Tryo'n's Official Report. 

| Moore'fl \ tticua Letter. 


Herman Husbands, with the memory of the indignities he 

had undergone at New-Bern still rankling in his heart, had 
encouraged the men he had so long influenced to attack the 
King's forces, but like his enemy, Edmund Fanning, he fled 
from the field when the battle commenced.* He was happily 
no more a citizen of North Carolina, but took his complaints 
and wild theories of freedom back to his native Pennsylvania, 
where twenty-three vears later, in the first administration of 
General Washington, he was still preaching sedition and head- 
ing a crusade against the infant government of the United 
States. In this "Whiskey Rebellion" he was arrested and 
carried to Philadelphia, in which city his ancient neighbor of 
North Carolina, Dr. David Caldwell, chanced to be a visitor. 
This good man, with Dr. Benjamin Rush, prevailed with the 
Federal authorities to release the aged agitator, and he escaped 
the punishment he deserved, to be canonized in after years 
for virtues he never possessed, and for services to freedom he 
had only intended for selfish ends.f His antagonist, Colonel 
Fanning, in whose villainies Husbands had so long found 
countenance, was likewise on the eve of his departure along with 
his father-in-law, Governor Tryon. He was afterwards con- 
spicuous as a Tory in the Revolution, and became a General in 
the British Army and Governor of Prince Edward's Island. % 

Governor Tryon amused himself for a few days after the 
battle with the utterance of various proclamations and marches 
of devastation and terror among the unhappy Regulators, who 
by thousands were forced to swallow oaths so stringent that five 
years later, when America arose to make tyranny impossible, 
they were still fettered with such fear and conscientious scruples, 
like the victims of Culloden, who settled along the Cape 
Fear, they clung to King George III., and had no part in the 
liberation of the colonies. Governor Tryon hastened from his 

*Foote's Sketches, page 64. f Wheeler, vol. II, page 349. 

JWheeler, vol. L, page 331. 


junction wit J i the forces of General Waddell at Salisbury, to 
hold :i court at Hillsboro for trial of the few prisoners that 
he had captured in battle. ( M' hi- conduct there and elsewhere, 

one of his Judges, Maurice Moore, was an eye-witness. Let 

his stern and eloquent words close this long chapter concerning 
the rule of the most relentless magistrate who ever held -way in 
North Carolina. In his letter to Tryon, having spoken of the 
Regulators in condemnation of their violence, he goe6 on to 
say : "I am willing to give you full credit for every service you 
have rendered this country. Your active and gallant behavior, 
in extinguishing the flame you yourself had kindled, doc- you 
great honor. For once vour military talent- were useful in the 
province ; you bravely met in the field and vanquished an host 
of scoundrels, whom you had made intrepid by abuse. It 
seems difficult to determine, Sir, whether Your Excellency i- 
more to be admired for vour skill in creating a cause, or vour 
bravery in suppressing the effect. This single action would 
have blotted out forever half the evils of your administration ; 
but alas, Sir! the conduct of the General after his victory was 
more disgraceful to the hero who obtained it, than that of the 
man before it had been to the Governor. Why did you stain so 
great an action with the blood of a prisoner who was in a state 
of insanity. The execution of James Few was inhuman ; that 
miserable wretch was entitled to life till nature, or the laws of 
his country, deprived him of it. The battle of Alamance was 
over, the soldier was crowned with success, and the peace of the 
province restored. There was no need of an infamous example 
of arbitrary execution, without judge or jury. I can freely 
forgive you, Sir, for killing Robert Thompson at the beginning 
of the buttle; he was your prisoner, and was making his escape 
to fighl against you. The laws of self-preservation sanctified 
the action, and justly entitle- your Excellency to an act of 

"Had Your Excellency nothing else in view than to enforce 
submission to the laws of the country, you might safely have 
disbanded the army in ten days after your victory : in that time 


the chiefs of the Regulators were run away, and their deluded 
followers returned to their homes. Such a measure would have 
saved the province twenty thousand pounds at least. But, Sir, 
vou had further employment for the army; you were, by an 
extraordinary bustle in administering oaths, and disarming the 
country to give a serious appearance of rebellion to the outrage 
of a mob; you were to aggravate the importance of your own 
services by changing a general dislike of your administration 
into disaffection to His Majesty's person and government, and 
the riotous conduct that dislike had occasioned, into premeditated 
rebellion. This scheme, Sir, is really an ingenious one; if it 
succeeds, you may possibly be rewarded with the honor of 

"From the 16th of May to the 16th of June, you were busy 
in securing the allegiance of rioters, and levying contributions 
of beef and flour. You occasionally amused yourself with 
burning a few houses, treading down corn, insulting the sus- 
pected, and holding Courts-martial. These courts took cog- 
nizance of civil as well as military offenses, and even extended 
their jurisdiction to ill-breeding and want of good manners. 
One Johnston, who was a reputed Regulator, but whose greatest 
crime, I believe, was writing an impudent letter to your lady, 
was sentenced in one of these military courts, to receive five 
hundred lashes, and received two hundred and fifty of them 
accordingly. But, Sir, however exceptionable your conduct may 
have been on this occasion, it bears little proportion to that 
which you adopted on the trial of the prisoners you had taken. 
These miserable wretches were to be tried for a crime made 
capital by a temporary act of Assembly, of twelve months 
duration. That act had, in great tenderness to His Majesty's 
subjects, converted riots into treasons. A rigorous and punctual 
execution of it was as unjust as it was politically unnecessary. 
The terror of the examples now proposed to be made under it 
was to expire, with the law in less than nine months after. The 
sufferings of these people could therefore amount to little more 
than mere punishment to themselves. Their offenses were 


derived from public and private impositions; and they were the 
followers, not the leaders, in the crimes they had committed. 
Never were criminals more justly entitled to every lenity tin- 
law could afford them, but, Sir, no consideration could abate 
your zeal in a cause you had transferred from yourself to your 
sovereign. You shamefully exerted the influence of your char- 
acter against the lives of these people. As booh as you were 
told that an indulgence of one day had been granted by the Courl 
to two men to send for witnesses, who actually established their 
innocence, and saved their lives, you sent an aid-de-camp to the 
Judges and Attorney-General, to acquaint them that you were 
dissatisfied with the inactivity of their conduct, and threatened 
to represent them unfavorably in England, if they did not pro- 
ceed with more spirit and dispatch. Had the Court submitted 
to influence, all testimony on the part of the prisoners would 
have been excluded and they must have been condemned, to a 
man. You said that your solicitude for the condemnation of 
these people arose from your desire of manifesting the lenity of 
the government in their pardon. How have your actions con- 
tradicted your words? Out of twelve that were condemned, the 
lives of six only were spared. Do you know. Sir, that your 
lenity on this occasion was less than that of the bloody Jeffreys in 
HJS.j-.' Me condemned live hundred persons, bul saved the lives 
of two hundred and seventy."* 

Note. — I adopt tin- suggestion of one i'<>r whose taste and judgment I 
entertain great respect, in assuring the reader that n<> blood relationship exists 
between the author of this book and the Cape Fear Moores. My ancestors "i 

that name came from Virginia ami were related t" Bishop M c and Colonel 

Stephen Moore of Mi. Tirzah. Judge Moure 6gured mi largely and so much 
in accordance with what patriotism and propriety dictated, that my commen- 
dations have been but what was fairlv dm' him and are in 00 wi8e the result 
of familv vindication. 



A. D. 1771 TO 1774. 

The colonial polity of North Carolina— President Hasell succeeds Tryon. 
and is displaced by Major Josiah Martin as Governor of North Car- 
olina — His character and antecedents— Assembly at New-Bern — His 
Majesty's Council for North Carolina— John Burgwinn's statement of the 
publicdebt— Samuel Johnston's bill to discontinue a portion of the taxation- 
Amnesty to Regulators— H. E. McCulloh, English Agent— New members 
of Assembly— Terms Whig and Tory— Richard Caswell, William Hooper, 
General Hugh Waddell, Maurice Moore, Cornelius Harnett, Willie Jones, 
Abner Nash, John Harvey, Samuel Johnston, Thomas Person, Thomas 
Polk, Abraham Alexander and Griffith Rutherford— South Carolina line- 
Sarah Wilson and her impostures — Governor Martin's tours of concilia- 
tion—New Assembly — Colonel Harvey again Speaker — The olden cere- 
monies — Decline of Governor Martin's popularity — Hooper and the Court 
Bill — Robert Howe and his bill for triennial Assemblies — Tarboro — Polk 
and Alexander— Fanning's losses— Assembly of 1773— Committees of Colo- 
nial Correspondence — Governor Tryon of New York, requested to trans- 
mit to the King North Carolina petitions for Court Laws — Courts of Oyer 
and Terminer adopted by Governor Martin and crushed by Maurice 
Moore— Progress of the sentiment of Independence — Iredell and Hooper — 
First American voice for separation from England — The troubles impos- 
sible of solution — Condition of North Carolina — John Harvey's boldness 
checkmates Governor Martin's scheme of silencing the province — Willie 
•Jones and the conference at Colonel Buncombe's house in Tyrrell. 

In approaching the administration of the last of the royal 
Governors of North Carolina it may not be considered amiss that 
some explanation should be attempted of the intricate system of 
government which had grown into existence since the time 
King Charles II. made the grant to the Lords Proprietors. The 
King, His Majesty George III., was, of course, sovereign in every 
portion of the province and to him was due the obedience of the 
people and their annual payment of seventy-five cents as quit- 
rent for every hundred acres of land possessed outside of tin 
boundaries of the Earl of Granville's grant. The Crown dele- 
gated its authority and prerogatives to a Governor. The King 

142 msToKY <»!•' NORTH CAROLINA. 1771. 

retained the power of repealing in Council by proclamation, any 

law enacted by the Provincial Assembly. 

The Governor held his place during the pleasure <»f the ( Irown, 
and could convene, prorogue or dissolve the Assembly whenever 
he felt so disposed. lie was the fountain from which flowed 
both civil and military promotion. The .Indue-, Sheriffs and 
Justices of the Peace were the creatures of his appointment, and 
removable at his pleasure, as were all the officers of tin- militia. 
lie nominated and procured the appointment of all members <>f 
Hi- Majesty's ( louncil for North Carolina, which constituted the 
Upper House of Assembly and corresponded in functions to our 
present Senate. No bill could become a law without the concur- 
rence of this body, while the Governor also possessed the power 
to veto any aet upon which both Houses were agreed. The 
House of Assembly was chosen by the free-holders who were in 
possession of fifty acres of land. There had been a statute for 
equalizing the representation in the House of Assembly, but it 
was disregarded or repealed, for Governor Tryon, in a letter to 
Lord Shellburne in 17G7, said that the counties of old Albemarle 
at that time sent five members each, Bertie three, and all other 
counties two apiece. When members of the House of Assembly 
were chosen by the people they usually retained their seats 
year after year until the Governor saw fit to dissolve the House, 
when there was a new election. The towns of Edenton, New- 
Bern, Wilmington, Brunswick, Bath, Salisbury, Cainpbellton 
and Hillsboro were each represented by a borough member, 
chosen by the citizens of these incorporated towns. The law re- 
quired that as many as sixty families must reside in a village 
before it was entitled to this distinction. Governor Martin 
tried to evade this rule as a special favor to Tarboro, but the 
Burgesses refused to seat the man sent up and the Governor 

surrendered his claim of right in the premises. It was only 

by application to the ( rovernor and ( louncil that the number of 
borough towns was increased. 
The Common Law of England and the general Btatutes of 

that realm were carle declared to be of force in North Carolina. 


The highest court was that of Chancery, which consisted of the 
Governor and five members of the Council for North Carolina, 
from which appeal lay to the King and his Privy Council in 
London. The Governor could issue injunctions to stay proceed- 
ings in courts, but no original process seems to have issued from 
this Court of Chancery. 

The General Court, composed of all the Judges, met twice a 
year at New-Bern to hear appeals. The Superior Courts could 
grant Letters of Administration and appoint guardians, and so 
could the Governor and the Inferior Courts. All matters in law 
or equity were cognizable in the Superior Courts, except small 
offenses against the Criminal Code and money demands not ex- 
ceeding one hundred dollars in amount. The Edenton Superior 
Court District included the counties of Currituck, Pasquotank, 
Perquimans, Chowan, Bertie and Hertford. That of Halifax 
consisted of Halifax, Bath, Northampton, Granville, Edge- 
combe, Chatham, Wake, Orange and Johnston. The Wilmington 
District included New Hanover, Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, 
Brunswick and Onslow. New-Bern District was made up 
of Craven, Beaufort, Carteret, Dobbs, Pitt and Hyde. Salisburv 
District was constituted of Anson, Rowan, Mecklenburg, Tryon, 
Surry and Guilford. 

The Governor and the Council were also required to meet 
twice a year in what was called the Court of Claims. On these 
occasions, they inspected the applications for grants of the King's 
lands and made orders to the Secretary of State to issue grants 
in fee-simple, with the invariable covenant for the annual pay- 
ment of quit-rents of seventy-five cents on each one hundred 
acres thus conveyed. The Governor issued his warrant to the 
Surveyor-General of the province, who in turn transmitted 
orders to his county deputies setting out the boundaries and then 
upon survey made, title was made to the purchaser. The best 
lands in Mecklenburg were then being sold by John Frohock as 
agent for George Selwyn at sixty-two and a half cents an acre 
in gold and double that amount in the provincial bills of credit. 

144 HISTORY <)K NORTH CAKoI. IN \. 1771. 

Inferior tracts commanded lower prices, the minimum of which 
was twenty-five dollars for a hundred acres. 

There were two Treasurers for tin- whole province. One of 
these accounted with the Sheriffs <»i' the northern counties for 

such taxes as were intended for provincial expenses, while his 
colleague discharged similar functions in the southern counties. 
They were elected by the General Assembly and disbursed under 
the directions of that body. These place- were considered of 
great honor and importance and were sought by the most dis- 
tinguished men. The members of the Council received DO pay 
except their per diem when sitting as the Upper Souse of 

The Receiver-General collected the royal quit-rents and was 
of less power and importance than the Secretary of State, who 
not only made out all grants for the King's lands, but appointed 
a Clerk of the Crown for each county and issued all civil and 
military commissions. The District Clerks of the Crown at- 
tended the criminal processes in the Superior Courts. Another 
clerk, appointed by the Chief-Justice, confined his attention to 
civil pleas and thus divided the business of the terms much after 
the fashion of the late Clerks and Masters in Equity. The Audi- 
tor was simply a check upon the Secretary of State and Receiver- 

In each county was a Court of Common Pleas and Quarter 
Sessions. They were held by Justices of the Peace and these 
were appointed by the Governor and held their places during his 
pleasure. The jurisdiction of this court in criminal matters did 
not extend to offenses, the punishment of which involved serious 
consequences; for they could not deprive of life or member, and 
in civil issues were only to have cognizance where the money 
demand did not exceed one hundred dollars. The oldest record 
of these Inferior Courts is found in the minutes of the Berkeley 
Precinct Court, still preserved in the office of the Clerk of the 
Superior Court of Perquimans county. It bears date December 
3rd, 1<)7!>. At that early day, in the enumerated powers con- 
ferring jurisdiction upon the Justices, it was enacted that they 


should be authorized "to enquire of the good men of the pre- 
cincts, by whom the truth may be known, of all felonious witch- 
craft, enchantments, sorceries, magic arts, trespasses, forestal lings, 
regratings and extortions whatsoever." A smile is inevitable in 
contemplating this singular enumeration of what our forefathers 
considered offenses deserving of punishment. 

The clergy of the English Church had no certain establish- 
ment until 1765. Each incumbent was then annually allowed 
six hundred and fifty dollars by the province and another hun- 
dred from the bounty of the London Society for the propagation 
of the Gospel. They were in addition furnished a residence 
and two hundred acres of glebe lands. Also by law they were 
allowed fees for celebrating marriages and preaching funeral 
sermons. They were all appointed by the Governor to the dif- 
ferent parishes, and were frequently in trouble with the Baptists 
and Quakers. These could never be brought to countenance a 
system which compelled them to pay money for the support of a 
church which two often derided and persecuted, in other pro- 
vinces, the faith they upheld. The Episcopal clergymen then 
in the province were the Rev. Messrs. Earle at Edenton, Burgess 
in Edgecombe, Micklejohn in Orange, Cramp in Brunswick, 
Briggs in Duplin, Barnett in Northampton, Gurley in Hertford, 
Alexander in Bertie, and Courtney and Fiske, missionaries. 
Governor Tryon, in a letter to Rev. Daniel Burton of London, 
reported these names, and the further fact that Mr. Cosgrevc had 
just left the province with none of that odor of sanctity which 
of right should have adorned his calling. 

Upon the departure of Governor Tryon to assume charge of 
the government of New York, the administration of affairs in 
North Carolina devolved upon ex-Chief-Justice James Hasell, 
then President of the Council, who qualified on July 1st, 1771.* 
He was displaced by the arrival of Josiah Martin, August 11th, 
who at once assumed the functions to which he had been dele- 
gated by His Majesty, King George III. Governor Martin 

^Public Acts, page 187. 


ranked as Major in the British army, and was brother to thai 
Samuel Martin who, in 1 7n'.">, had been reflected upon for his 
course as a member of Parliament and Secretary of State, by 
John Wilkes, in the North Briton newspaper, and had been 
wounded in the duel which ensued.* Josiah Martin was far more 
honorable as a man than William Tryon, but possessed much of 
the obstinacy and punctilious observance <»(' royal prerogative so 
observable in Governor Dobbs. He had no unworthy favorite- 
like Edmund Panning, and concocted no -elfish scheme- for his 
own benefit or that of his family. Perhaps in the stern antago- 
nisms of the times in which he ruled North Carolina, his real 
virtues were not appreciated as tiny deserved, lor he lacked the 
personal attractiveness of his predecessor, ami was cold, austere, 
and often manifesting his displeasure toward those who differed 
with him in his policy. f 

Governor Martin met the Assembly for the first time, on 
November 19th, in the town of New-Bern. In his address, 
after eulogizing the late Governor, and congratulating the pro- 
vince on the return of order, he earnestly recommended the 
adoption of such measures as would remedy the evils and aim- - 
which had SO largely contributed to produce the late unhappy 
state of all'airs. In view of the war in Europe, some military 
preparations were advised, and he concluded his address by 
recommending the passage of an act of complete amnesty to all 
SO recently involved in opposition to the authority of the gov- 
ernment. At the Governor's request, the members of both 
Houses took the oath of abjuration, which had been amended in 
176(5, by which they disavowed their supporl of Charles Edward 
or any other scion of the unfortunate House of Stuart. + 

His Maje-ty's Council consisted then of dames Hasell, Lewis 
11. DeRos-et and Colonel William Dry of New Hanover, 
Alexander McCulIoh and Samuel Cornell of Halifax. Marma- 

M:iriin, v., I. II. page 268. frLife ->i [redell, vol. I. page •-'••'.'.' 

• Martin, vol. 1 1. p:iL r <- 287. 


duke Jones and John Rutherford of Bladen,* Sir Nathaniel 
Dukinfield of Bertie, John Sampson of Duplin, Martin 
Howard of Craven, and Thomas McGuire and Samuel Strud- 
wick of Orange. 

The House of Assembly returned compliments to the Gov- 
ernor and called attention to the inconvenience of the late act of 
Parliament forbidding any further issue of paper money. They 
stated that North Carolina, like all new settlements, was in a 
great measure devoid of a eirculating medium, and expressed 
their anxiety that the only mode possible by which the public 
debt could be discharged might prove satisfactory to the creditors 
of the province. f John Burgwiun, the Southern Treasurer, 
made the long-needed statement of the true condition of the 
public funds. He showed that a sum exceeding the amount of 
the bills issued in 1748 and 1754 had been received, and demon- 
strated that a full collection of amounts then in the hands of 
Sheriffs, as arrears, for which security had been given, would 
discharge the whole public debt and leave in the two Treasurers' 
hands the sum of twenty thousand dollars. 

Samuel Johnston of Chowan introduced a bill to discontinue 
that portion of the poll tax, heretofore devoted, with the impost 
on foreign liquors, to extinguishing these claims.J It passed at 
once without opposition in the House of Assembly, as likewise 
in the Council, but on reaching Governor Martin was returned 
with his veto. This gave umbrage to the Burgesses, for they held 
that such a course could only be dictated by indifference to the 
popular distresses; and they embodied their views in a resolution. 

*Note. — John Rutherford married Penelope Eden, the widow of Governor 
Gabriel Johnston, and lived at the place in Bladen where the wise Governor 
had built a house. Eden House had been given to Penelope Johnston, the 

widow's daughter, who had married Colonel Pearson of Virginia. 

JXote. — He was the son of the late Surveyor-General and nephew of Gov- 
ernor Gabriel Johnston. En wealth, learning and social position he was un- 
surpassed in the province, and, with bis brother, John Johnston of Bertie, was 

last rising in renown and usefulness. 

tMartin, vol. II. page 288. 19 


At once the Assembly was dissolved and od December 23rd 
the Governor issued a proclamation in which the Sheriffs were 
instructed to disobey the ad of the House of Assembly and to 
continue their collections for the sinking fund. 

This was a foretaste of the contests between Governor Martin 
and the House of Assembly, in which they were to persevere 
with an ever-widening gap between them until the great crisis 
of L775 was to be reached and all hope of reconciliation lost 
forever. The resolution, to which reference bas been just made, 
was by no means the only legislation of this Assembly. An act 
of amnesty and oblivion was passed in regard to all Regulators 
except Herman Husbands, Rednap Howell and William Burke, 
whose crimes, they said, had been too atrocious lot- forgiven< ss. 
An ad of indemnity likewise was approved lor the benefit of 
the loyalists in the late disturbances, and Henry Eustace M<- 
Culloh was re-appointed the English agent for North Carolina in 
London. f 

In addition to the Speaker, Colonel Richard ( laswell of Dobbs, 
there were many men of conspicuous merit in the Assembly. 
I'he Upper House being constituted of those who were nomi- 
nated bythe ( Jovernorand confirmed by the King, was, as a general 
rule, only an echo of the ( Jhief-Magistrate's view.-. < )nlv in the 
repeal of the Tower Hill project of Governor DobbsJ and the 
proposition of Governor Tryon to embody the militia on the 
suggestion of Judge Henderson, had they ever been known to 
controvert the wishes of the power which had spoken them into 
existence. They were uniformly found siding with men whose 
interests were different from those of the province. Judge 
Hasell died before the real issue came, but DeRosset, Cornell, 
John Rutherford, Judge Howard, McGuireand Dukinfield were 
all b to become avowed Tories in the great struggle lor free- 
dom^ The terms " Whig " and "Tory" had Ween in use for 
re than a century iii England and were transferred to America 

*.J<.n«- Defence, page 74 fPublic An-, page L84 

f-Martin, vol. II. page!73. (Martin, vol. II. page 264. 

1771. WHIGS AND TORIES. 14!) 

to express the s;une relative ideas of independence of an<l sub- 
mission to royal authority. Those stern enthusiasts, who were 
at last overthrown in Scotland by the Duke of Monmouth at 
Both well Bridge, were first called "Whigs" in derision for alleged 
improper driving of other cattle than their own. The nick- name 
was carried south and given to men in Parliament who Likewise 
were obstructing the policy of King Charles. In Ireland the 
bog-trotting Catholic boors were first known as "Tories," and this 
title was given to English statesmen who would not join in ex- 
cluding the Duke of York from the succession on account of \n> 
Popish belief.* In America, a Whig was one who resisted the 
claim of Parliament in its asserted right to tax the colonists, t 
A Tory was one who conceded this power, and was in addition, 
generally found upholding the Governor of Xorth Carolina in 
any other claim of royal prerogative. 

In this, the first Assembly which Governor Martin had met. 
were manv men who have grown historic in their renown. Rich- 
ard Caswell was to become more highly honored than any man 
in our history, in the greatness and variety of his public employ- 
ments. He had come as a boy from Maryland in 1746 and Mas 
accredited by the Governor of that province to Gabriel Johnston, 
then Chief-Magistrate of North Carolina.! This wise and good 
ruler afforded him employment, and in 175-*> he became Deputy- 
Surveyor of the province and Clerk of Orange Interior Court. 
The next year, while still living in Orange, he was elected from 
Johnston county to the House of Assembly. This was a com- 
mon thing at that time, for in the Legislature of 177:5, William 
Hooper of Wilmington was serving his initiation from the new 
borough of Cainpbelltou, before known as Cross ( !reek.§ Gen- 
eral Hugh Waddell of Brunswick, with ex-Judge Moore of the 
same constituency, were also members. Cornelius Harnett of 
Wilmington, Willie Jones and Abner Nash of Halifax. Joseph 

*Macanlay, vol. I. page 192. fCaruthers' Old North State, page 13. 

JCaruthers' Old North State, page 121 ; Wheeler, vol. 1L page 87. 
g Jones' Defence, page 79. 


Hewes and Samuel Johnston of Chowan, John Harvey of Per- 
quintans, Thomas Person of Granville, Thomas Polk and A.bra- 
ham Alexander of Mecklenburg, were also leaders of this body 
and all destined to future eminence and usefulness. 

In consequence of special instructions from the King, Gov- 
ernor Martin called the attention of the Assembly to the necessity 
of extending the line between North and South Carolina to the 
( Jherokee boundaries, then beginning on the head-waters of Broad 
River. This was a sore subject; as it was not desirable at all 
that the boundary in question should he defined; from the fact 
that it was well ascertained that much revenue then accruing to 
North Carolina would he lost by the proposed extension. The 
House of Assembly protested against it and refused any appro- 
priation : hut ( rovernor Martin was not to he thwarted in carrying 
out his instruction-. He appointed Colonel Thomas Polk and 
Abraham Alexander of* Mecklenburg, and on his own authority 
executed the Kind's wishes.! 

The act of Parliament forbidding a further issue of provincial 
hills of credit greatly embarrassed the Assembly a- t<» the pay- 
ment <>f recent, large expense incurred in suppressing the Regu- 
lators. < 'ertilicates of indebtedness called "debenture hills" were 

adopted as the only means left in the power of the province to 

reimburse those whose valor and loyalty had enabled Governor 
Tryon to uphold the King's authority. An address was prepared 
to he forwarded to the Throne and Commons of Great Britain, 
imploring a relaxation of the statute against such issues, at least 
a- far as North Carolina was concerned ; and a pledge was given 
in that event, that British creditors should he secured against 
loss by depreciation in the value of the contemplated funds. 

A female impostor, claiming to be sister of the Queen of 
England, came down from Virginia, where she had received 
great honors, and was treated in like style by Governor Martin 
and his wife at the Palace, and by the best people of the differ- 

Journal of Assembly, I77n and 1771, Second Session, 

+ M;irtin. vol. 1 1, page 288. 


ent towns, through which she held her progress. Her mannei 
was so complete a reproduction of that seen in the highest court 
circles that every one was duped until her exposure in Charles- 
ton, where she was apprehended, and it transpired that she was 
one Sarah Wilson, who had been transported and sold into 
Maryland for larceny of valuable jewels belonging to Her 
Majesty, the Queen. She had been lavish of promises of her aid 
to sundry men, who wished her to help them in English scheme.-, 
and they were sorely chagrined when they discovered that large 
sums thus paid in advance to secure her assistance were worse 
than wasted.* 

Governor Martin made extensive tours of observation inthos< 
portions of the province which had been lately in such dis- 
turbed condition. He was gracious and kind to the unhappy 
men who still smarted with the severity of Governor Tryon's 
punishments. A deep and abiding influence was produced in the 
minds of the leading' Regulators by his commiserations of their 
woes and free denunciation of the folly, extravagance and 
cruelty of his predecessor. His part in the recent amnesty act, 
his pardon and release of the six men who had been condemned 
to death at Hillsboro, and show of sympathy, both in his manner 
and dispatches to England, so wrought upon the minds of those 
he wished to influence, that in all the coming troubles of the 
Revolution, he was never forgotten or their pledges of loyal t\ 
broken. Especially was this the case with four brothers named 
Fields, who dwelt in Guilford. f 

The new Assembly, the Burgesses of which had just been 
chosen, met at New-Bern, January 23rd, 177o. The House of 
Assembly at once gave note of its temper by the selection of 
Colonel John Harvey as Speaker. He was Dominated by 
Richard Caswell, who waived his claims in deference to him who 
was admitted to be the sternest vindicator of colonial rights 
in all the province. It was a stately ceremonial in those days 

■■Martin, vol. II, page 292. 

fCaruthers' OKI North State in 177<i, page 28. 


when a new Assembly was to be organized. The firsl step was as 
i" the qualification of the individual members. This was ascer- 
tained always in the presence of at least two of Mi- Majesty's 
Council, specially delegated by the Governor for thai duty. 
Whenever the House of Assembly had ascertained this import- 
an1 matter of its constitution, the temporary < lhairman deputed 
two of the members, win* repaired t<> the Palace and informed 
His Excellency thai the members had qualified and awaited his 
orders. Then came the Private Secretary t<> the bar of the 
House with the message thai the Governor required their imme- 
diate presence at the Palace. Thereupon the Burgesses repaired 
in a body t<> the stately edifice, where greetings were exchanged, 
and then came I [is Excellency's command for them to return and 
-elect a Speaker: whereupon "Mr. Richard Caswell proposed 
and set up John Harvey, Esq., who was unanimously chosen 
Speaker and placed in the Chair accordingly." Two members 
again set out fur the Palace to inform the Governor and to knoia 
when they should wait on him t<> present their presiding officer. 
An answer was always given that lie would inform them by 
messenger. Very soon the Secretary again made hi- appearance, 
to require for a second time their presence at the Palace. There 
the new Speaker called upon the ( rovernor t<> confirm tin rights 
and privileges of the House, that no mi-take or error «i|' his 
might be attributed to the House; to which Mis Excellency would 
answer, that he would support that body in all its jn-t rights 
and privileges, and then proceeded to address the Council and 
Burgesses assembled.* 

Governor Martin had Iosl influence in several ways since his 
assumption of power. Ili- dissolution of the Assembly and 
proclamation to the Sheriffs a- to the collection of that portion 
of the poll-tax given with the liquor excise to the sinking fund; 
his course in regard to the South Carolina boundary, and above 
all. hi- \'vc<- reflections upon ( Jovernor Tryon had excited animos- 

Jones' Defence, page 77 


itv in many men who had been disposed to stand by him on his 
arrival in North Carolina. He confined the topics of his address 
on this occasion to two subjects. He informed the two Houses 
that he had the King's commands for recommending to them the 
passage of an act of general pardon and oblivion in favor of all 
persons concerned in the late troubles, to be suspended till the 
King's pleasure could be known. With the passage of this aci 
he likewise proposed such legislation as would be permanent 
and efficient in preventing a recurrence of such evils. As the 
Court Laws were about to expire by limitation, he called atten- 
tion to the necessity of a statute on permanent and certain prin- 
ciples, to create a court system in place of that about to pass 

William Hooper, who had won prominence in the courts as 
an able and eloquent advocate was made, chairman of the com- 
mittee to report a Court Bill.f The House instructed them to 
provide for the establishment of the Superior and Inferior Courts 
in the same bill. They were furthermore to vest the appoint- 
ment of the Superior Court Clerks of the Crown in the Chief- 
Justice instead of the Secretary of State as before, and to restrain 
Clerks of Pleas from selling the office of Clerk of the Inferior 
Courts. They were further instructed to so frame a bill, that 
letters of administration and probate of wills should be in the 
power of the Inferior Courts, to the exclusion of those of greater 
authority, except by way of appeal; and to extend the juris- 
dicton of single Justices of the Peace to sums of twenty-five 

A bill in accordance with these instructions passed both 

fNoTE. — Hooper was then thirty-one years old, and had left Boston lor 
North Carolina in 1765. He was representing Campbellton though residing 
in New Hanover. He had married Miss Ann Clark, and was noted lor the 
sweetness of his temper and elegance of his acquirements. He was a graduate 
of Harvard and some estimate of his legal fame may he had in his appoint- 
ment on the committee mentioned in the text. 

'Martin, vol. II, page 24. {Martin, vol. II. page 293. 


Houses after being amended in the Council by providing thai 
in case of attachment against persons residing in Europe, pro- 
ceedings should be staid one year before plea. The oew law 
containing a clause suspending its effects till the King's pleasure 
could be known, was signed by the Governor. Temporary 
enactments were next passed in the House of Assembly to be 
in force while awaiting His Majesty's consent to the new law 
just adopted. A disagreement ensued because the Upper House 
struck out a clause as to attachments and amended in such a 
way, that persons win* had never resided in the province should 
only l»e amenable to English customs in such cases. There had 
been several cases determined on appeal in \V< stminsfr r Hall, in 
which it had latterly transpired that under the North Carolina 
rules, an attachment was often a prior lien to any process obtain- 
able in England against bankrupts who happened t<> have effects 
in the province. Aimer Nash had married Governor I>nl>l>s* 
widow and attached the estates of Conway and Richard Dobbs, 
his sons, to realize a legacy of ten thousand dollars, due Mrs. 
Nash. This case had been followed by others where American 
claimants secured their money in advance of English co-creditors, 
and certain interested parties had procured order- to be sent over 
to ( rovernor Martin to enforce some abatement of this American 
rule. The Burgesses said, with truth, that Smith Carolina and 
Virginia had precisely the same provisions in their attachment 
laws and they resolutely refused all compliance with the foreign 
demand and struck nut the amendment introduced by theCoun- 
cil. The result was that no Court Law was enacted except that 
which wa- >oon disallowed hy the King."!' This prolong.,! mid 
fruitless struggle was destined to continue as long as King George 
III. held sway in the Province of North Carolina. TheCouncil 
became the active helper of Governor Martin and the English 
traders, but the battle was to be bravely and unyieldingly main- 
tained by the House of Assembly in spite of the disorders re- 
Letter of \. Elmsly to Samuel Johnston, May L7th, 177 1 
Joni -' I tefence, |>:iu<- ~7 


suiting from the long want of all courts of competent jurisdiction 
for the settlement of important civil issues. The Governor held 
the power of vetoing any bills passed by the two Houses ; His 
Majesty, the King, could by orders in Council disallow laws that 
had received the Governor's assent, furthermore the Council 
itself could defeat the will of the Burgesses; but in spite of all 
these things, they were to persevere to the end. If they could 
not have courts with such powers as their neighbors in Virginia 
and South Carolina, they would have no court at all.* Robert 
Howe of Brunswick, introduced a bill for the establishment of 
triennial Assemblies, and to regulate elections, but this attack 
upon the power of the Chief-Magistrate of the Province was, of 
course, only a brutumfulmen, and received, as he fore-knew, the 
strenuous opposition of both Governor Martin and his Council, 
without whose support it was then only valuable as a token 
of what was wished and intended by the people and their repre- 

Governor Martin in the course of his travels during the pre- 
ceding year, had visited Tarboro where such was the hospitality 
shown him, that he granted a charter to the little village, giving 
them as he proposed, the right of representation in the House 
of Assembly, through a borough member, with the same privi- 
leges as belonged to Edenton, Bath, New-Bern, Wilmington, 
Halifax, Hillsboro and Campbellton. Henry Irwin, a citizen 
of the favored village, who was to render great service to his 
country in the future, was elected by this new constituency, but 
upon his application for a seat, his claim was disallowed by the 
Burgesses, upon the ground that the statute required sixty fami- 
lies in a town before it could be made a borough by the Gov- 
ernor's charter.f Governor Martin was also annoyed in the 
action of the Assembly touching its refusal to compensate Thomas 
Polk and Abraham Alexander for their services on the South 
Carolina line survey. He knew that these men were highly 
popular and expected that the House would be swayed by good 

* Jones' Defence, page 80. fMartin, vol II. page :'■<>»;. 



feeling towards them, but he found that not only was all appro- 
priation withheld bul a sharp reprimand was conveved to them 
for presuming to engage in a work which had been so pointedly 
opposed by the Burgesses before it was undertaken. Martin 
Phifer and John Davidson wire the Mecklenburg members of 
the Lower House at this time, having succeeded Polk and Alex- 
ander, upon their declining to serve. i They were, however, to 
re-appear in the |>nl>Iic councils and efface, in the lustre of future 
service, any resentment at their compliance with the wishes of 
the King and Governor Martin in this particular case.;',; The 
House of Assembly was no more compliant in regard to the 
proposal that Edmund Panning should be indemnified for the 
destruction of his house by the Orange Regulators. Governor 
Martin had induced him to withdraw suit against parties, on the 
ground thai it would contribute to peace, and he applied to the 
Assembly. The Burgesses replied, they had no interest in the 
private affairs of Colonel Panning, and he in disgust left the 
province for his native New York.§ 

During the summer three hundred families of Scotch High- 
landers landed at Wilmington and passed up the Cape Pear to 
the neighborhood of their compatriots, who had settled at Cross 
Creek in 17-17.|j They were also of late the adherents of the 
Pretender and were soon to become an enormous trouble to the 
g 1 people among whom they had cast their fortunes. 

Governor Martin had dissolved the General Assembly in the 
spring, hoping that Burgesses less determined in obstructing his 
policy would be selected. In this expectation he wa> completely 
disappointed. The Legislature met at New-Bern, December 1th. 
John Campbell of Bertie, who had been Speaker in 1754 and 
1 7 "><;, and was .-till highly honored in his extreme age, proposed 

| Note, I olonel Polk was t<> be the real mover in tin- Mecklenburg Decla- 
ration and Abraham Alexander was t" preside al the immortal convocation, 
which f • 1 1 1 Biich high resolved on r< rd. 

Martin, vol. II. page 298 fjones, page 7'.'. 

{Jones, page 82, Jones, page 94. 


and sot up Colonel John Harvey, who was unanimously chosen 
Speaker and placed in the Chair accordingly. S] >eaker Harvey had 
in his possession some momentous documents. They were letters 
from the Speakers of the Lower Houses of Virginia, Massachu- 
setts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware. The House of 
Burgesses at Williamsburg- had resolved, on the preceding March 
12th, on the establishment of regular committees of correspond- 
ence, and at the same time expressed their sentiments as to re- 
cent actions of the British Ministry. The House of Assembly 
applauded the proposition and sentiments, and John Harvey of 
Perquimans, Richard Caswell of Dobbs, Samuel Johnston, 
Joseph Hewes and Edward Vail of Chowan, Cornelius Harnett, 
William Hooper and John Ashe of New Hanover and Robert 
Howe of Brunswick were constituted a Committee of Corre- 
spondence for the Province of North Carolina. Their duties 
were to watch the action of Parliament and concert measures of 
defence with the other colonies.* Especially were they directed 
to look into the recent acts of an unusual body called the Court 
of Enquiry in the Province of Rhode Island. 

The King's disallowance of the Court Laws, sent over for his 
ratification, brought up again the tedious struggle over the ques- 
tions of jurisdiction and attachment.! After a repetition of 
harangues for and against the use of a right so long established 
in the practice of the courts of the province, the House of Assem- 
bly again resolved on addressing the King and, strange to say. 
Governor Tryon of New York was selected as the medium of 
communicating their griefs to the Throne. 

Thomas Bigglestou, the Governor's Secretary, came to the 
House to require their attendance at the Palace. On their arrival 
they were told by His Excellency that he had determined to 
prorogue their session until the following March, thai they might 
consult with their constituents and see if they were satisfied that 

•■Martin, vol. II, page 305. fMartin, vol. II, page 309. 


the province should have no courts or thi> long contested ri'_ r lit 
of attachment against non-residents. 

The Legislature re-assembled to receive fresh appeals from 
Governor Martin for concession <>n the Court Bill. He had re- 
ceived such instructions from Eugland as prevented his yielding, 
and the Burgesses were in a no less determined mood. Lords 
Hillsboro and Hertford had espoused the cause of Conway and 
Richard Dobbs, and by their instrumentality Mich order* were 
made in London as precluded the idea of any satisfactory settle- 
ment of the vexed issues. It was in vain that the Council 
agreed to a Court Sy.-tem a> a compromise of it- views and those 
of the House of Assembly; upon their repairing to the Palace 
for the Governor's assent, that functionary, with honest sorrow, 
told thorn duty forbade his giving his consent to their action .f 
North Carolina was thus left with no courts save those held by 
single Justiees of the Peaee. Governor Martin, in this emer- 
gency, claimed as part of the prerogative of the King, and by 
consequence, his own right of appointing .Justiees to hold Courts 
of Over and Terminer for the sole purpose of holding pleas of 
the Crown in criminal .causes. Samuel Cornell of New-Bern, 
a member of the Council, was made Chief-Justice in this new 
order of things.^ In his court at Wilmington, Maurice Moore, 
having returned to the bar, made such exception.- to the com- 
mission of the Judge upon the bench that he took an advisari 
ami adjourned the court. ^ In this way the last semblance of 
any competent tribunal for even criminal jurisdiction had dis- 
appeared from the province. No offenses but those cognizable 

in the Justices' courts could be reached or punished. Civil 

issues were completely gone, and North Carolina was left to drift 
at the mercy of the passions and caprices of the multitude then 
constituting her population. The lawyers were left without a 
brief, and turned from the' perusal of Dr. Blackstone's newcom- 

M.irtin, vol. II. [>a<.'c .Tl">. t.Mnrtin. rd. II. page 324, 

(Letter of Alexander Klm-I\ to Samuel Johnston, May IT. 1 7 7 l . 
{Hooper to Iredell, August 5th, 177 1. 


mentaries to an interchange of political views by means of the 
<<>stl\ and imperfect postal arrangements. They were in a most 
tantalizing and hopeless condition.* A few still clung, with 
Judge Martin Howard, to the Governor and his assertion of royal 
prerogative, hut Maurice Moore, William Hooper, Samuel 
Johnston, James Iredell, Archibald Maclainc, Samuel Spencer, 
John Williams, Waightstill Avery, William Sharp and others 
were heart and soul devoted to the vindication of colonial rights. 
James Iredell was then but a youth and had just come to the 
bar, but he was tireless and brilliant in a wide correspondence 
urging combination and resistance to the schemes of Lord North. + 
In their public declarations of that period all of the American 
colonies were profuse in their protestations of loyalty to the King, 
and their bitter words were but complaints of the wickedness 
of the British Ministers. But in spite of this show of fealty, 
there can be no doubt that many were feeling what the boldest 
yet could scarcely dare to utter in words. William Hooper, on 
April 26th, 1774, thus wrote to Iredell: "With you I anticipate 
the important share which the colonies must soon have in regu- 
lating the political balance. They are fast striding to iyidepen- 
deuce, and will ere long build an empire on the ruins of Britain ; 
will adopt its constitution purged of its impurities, and from 
an experience of its defects, will guard against those evils which 
have wasted its vigor and brought it to an untimely end."; 

As the ominous days preceding the Revolution rolled slowly 
away, the shadow of the coming storm was more and more 

tNoTE. — Iredell had married Miss Hannah Johnston of Eden ton, July 
19th, 1773. He had recently succeeded to the Collector's Office in the port oi 
Roanoke, in place of H. E. McC'ulloh, and in view of his late arrival fron 
England and connections there, might have well been pardoned for adhesion 
to Tory principles; hut no man in the province was more decided and oul 
spoken as a Whig. Samuel Johnston, his brother-in-law, was highly conserva- 
tive in many of his views, and probably never knew how much the ardent 
and impulsive Iredell colored the views and acts of his life. 

*Edwards to John Williams, July 20th, 1773. 
JJones' Defence, page 125. 


clearly projected across the political heavens. Good meu in both 
hemispheres deplored the increasing evidena 3, that the time was 
mar at hand which should witness the sundering of the muni- 
cipal tie-, which had ><> long bound the American colonies t<> the 
mother-country. Lord North, though never a tender-hearted 
man. was far from being a cruel one; King George III. in his 
private morals was above reproach, and yet between these two. in 
their assertion of prerogative, the rupture became inevitable. 
In all truth, with a century behind us in which the passions "t 
that era have had time to cool, there was n<> solution of the 

The great European war- in the time of William III. had 
laid the foundations of the English national debt. The ambi- 
tion of Louis XI Y. not only threatened British ascendency in 
America, but in Europe became a- terrible a- that of Spain, in 
the time of Philip 1 1. The wars of the three fir-t ( reorges were 
mainly undertaken to destroy the naval and colonial power of 
France. Canada and the great dominion in the west, then 
known as Louisiana, were objects of British terror. \\ hen all 
the territory east of the Mississippi River had been wrested from 
the French, the public debt had grown to be enormous in its 
proportions. The ( lhancellorof the Exchequer found it each year 
harder to make up a budget that would not raise a storm against 
the government. America was -til! calling for fresh millions of 
expenditure, even in times of profoundesl peace. The colonies, 
except in the matter of trade, were a dead expense to the home 

government. Ef armies were to be maintained for their defend . 
it was insisted that they should contribute their fail- proportion 
-if the general expense. The vast majority of leaders in Parlia- 
ment held they had fill power to impose direct taxes upon the 
colonies. Pitt, Burke and ( lamden were the leaders of a formida- 
ble opposition, who maintained that no legislative body under 
the British Constitution could impose taxes, unless the people 
taxed were therein represented. Schemes of colonial represen- 
tation in Parliament failed. It was then proposed that the Colo- 


nies should be left to contribute their quota in their own way; 
but this was rejected. 

NO human wisdom could have adjusted the differences to suit 
either the tastes or interests of the contestants. Had A mcrica been 
allowed her demand of oulv taxing the colonics as they saw fit, 
then in all truth, America would have been in effect independent. 
On the other hand, had our forefathers been admitted to repre- 
sentation in Parliament on any equitable basis, by this time the 
American people would have controlled the policy of the whole 
empire. England would have found herself in the dilemma of 
Normandy after the Conquest. It was better that war should 
come and separation be effected, and so in the providence of God, 
the Revolution ensued. 

No people in the world's history have been in a more per- 
plexing- condition than were those of North Carolina in April, 
1774. The courts were closed and the Sheriffs at their wits' ends 
as to their duty in the matter of collecting that portion of the 
poll-tax- devoted to the extinction of the public debt. The 
House of Assembly had forbidden it; Governor Martin, by 
proclamation, gave fresh and explicit directions for its enforce- 
ment.* It was discovered by Colonel Harvey that Governor 
Martin had serious intentions of not allowing a session of the 
General Assemblv during the continuance of the disturbed 
condition of the colonies in relation to the Boston Port Bill. 
Governor Tryon had stifled the voice of the province so far as 
the Assembly was concerned, during the whole of the Stamp 
Act troubles. 

Governor Martin now propositi the same scheme. 1 lis private 
Secretary, Biggleston, divulged the secret to Colonel .John Har- 
vey, and that stern Whig took tire at the thought. He hail 
been for years the head and front of resistance to British en- 
croachments. In his wealth, culture and influence, even .John 
Ashe had been eclipsed as the popular leader. In his unbending 

*Martin, vol. 1 1, pa 


:iik1 lofty bearing, Tryon had been held at a distance, and while 
Caswell, Ashe and Polk had been temporarily dazed in the sin- 
gular fascination of the "Great Wolf," John Harvey had uni- 
formly treated liim in such style that his deposition from the 

Speaker's chair had been accomplished in 1771. Gover ■ 

Martin found him the same stern, unyielding opponent. < lolonel 
Harvey at once, in the boldness of hie fearless nature, deter- 
mined on checkmating the cunning plan concocted in the Palace. 
There were brave men then in North Carolina, but probably no 
other would have assumed the responsibility and danger so un- 
hesitatingly embraced by the statesman of Perquimans, whose 
fortitude was so supreme in his extreme physical debility. It 
required the heart of a Luther to have reached the resolution 80 
promptly taken. 

( 'olonel Harvey left New- Bern at once and first sought the 
counsel and aid of Willie Jones of Halifax. In him he recog- 
nized a kindred spirit, and to him it was first proposed, April 
3rd, 1774, that Colonel Harvey, as Speaker of the House of 
Assembly, should call a convention of the people at New-Bern.* 
He offered to issue hand-bills and urge the formation of com- 
mittees of correspondence, so that delegates should be chosen, 
and in case Governor Martin should carry out his threat of pro- 
roguing the Assembly, the Provincial Congress should meet in 
place thereof and take such steps as would insure the represen- 
tation of North Carolina in the Continental Congress soon to 
meet in Philadelphia. t Willie Jones gave his hearty adhesion 
to the scheme. He was to North ( 'arolina what Thomas Jeffer- 
son was to Virginia. Never conspicuous on the hustings or in 
the debutes of deliberative bodies, but in his powerful and 
original mind was to be developed the larger portion of the 
policy of his people during the continuance of his life.;!; The 
next dav Colonel Harvev met Samuel Johnston and ("olonel 

'Samuel Johnston's Letter t" Win. Hooper, April 5th, 1774. 
[•Jones' I defence, page 124. 
^Jones' I defence, page 128 


Edward Buncombe at the house of the latter in Tyrrell, and 
the cordial co-operation of these two was also secured. Bun- 
combe was impulsive and impressionable, but Johnston was the 
embodiment of caution and deliberation. He was full of de- 
termination to resist Lord North's measures but he feared the 
effects of too much popular power. These eminent men, with 
Hooper, John Ashe, Caswell, Person and others, at once acceded 
to Harvey's proposition and the ball of Revolution was put in 

*Note. — Mr. T. B. Kingsbury of Wilmington some time ago doubted the 
correctness of the above statement because Governor Swam, in his life of 
General John Ashe, published in Appleton's Encyclopaedia, claimed for the 
Cape Fear hero the great honor of originating the first Provincial Congress 
of North Carolina. I take it that neither Governor Swain nor Mr. Kingsbury 
had ever seen Governor Johnston's letter to Hooper; for the truth of my state- 
ment is therein made so patent that no reasonable doubt ean well he enter- 




A . I). I 77 I TO 1 7 7. "p. 

Approach of the Revolution- Josiah Qnincey's visit < olonel Harvey's hand- 
bills and i!i«' elections -Governor Martin's exasperation -Meeting <>l' the 
Council —Firs! Provincial Congress of North Carolina — Harvey presides 
I rovemor Martin's had temper — Members of the < k>ngr< ss William Hooper, 
John Ashe, John Campbell, Samuel Johnston, Joseph Hewes, Thoma6 
.loins, Richard Caswell, Allen ami Willie Jones, Abner Nash, Thomas 
Person, Richard Cogdell and Samuel Spencer Election nf delegates to the 
Continental Congress Resolutions and address to tin Throne The manner 
nf determining questions and mode of paying expenses of delegates !l. ston 
Porl Hill — Philadelphia < ongress —Hooper's eloquence Lord < lhatham on 
the American Address — Dr. Franklin and Wedderburne — Governor Mar- 
tin's return from New York —Judge Henderson's Indian purchases- -Thomas 
Barker and Alexander Elmsly, English Agents Colonel Harvey issues 
hand-bills for another Congress -Governor Martin forbids it by procla- 
mation — Death of his son and meeting of the Council— Another fruitless 
proclamation -Colonel Harvey presides in second Provincial Congress 
I reneral Assembly meets next day and elect him Speaker — ( tavernor Martin's 
last address to the Assembly — Answer of the Burgesses- -Governor Martin 
dissolves the Assembly — The Provincial Congress continue their session- 
Articles of association Bigned by members— Thomas McKnight -Governor 
Martin removes (olonel Harvey from the commission as Justice of the 
Peace for Perquimans— Richard Cogdell aq/3 Dr. Alexander Gaston seize 
the Governor's artillery — His Bight to Wilmington and Fort Johnston. 

The American Revolution, like some resistless decreeof Fate, 
-lowly ami inevitably drew near. The kindred communities of 
Britain and America, with a thousand ties of blood ami interest, 

found themselves each day moved by the force of event- into ;t 

continually widening divergence and estrangement. The trouble 
had begun with the Navigation Act-, bul when John Adam- 
had prevailed on the Americans to yield in this respect, Kino- 
George had resolved on such treatment of Massachusetts, as 

made peace impossible. So in the march of time human COUn- 
'Bancroft, vol. VII, page 139. 


sels were confounded and in the very horrors of strife, Providence 
was opening up boundless and unknown opportunities for national 
and individual advancement. In the grand scriptural doctrine 
of atonement by shed blood, was an awakened world to be bap- 
tized into a new and advanced human polity of which the wisest 
men of the past had not even dreamed, as possible in this world. 
During the entire summer of 1774, North Carolina was agita- 
ted throughout its borders. Meetings of the people were held 
to consider the public situation, and sympathy and aid went 
forward to the suffering city of Boston. Josiah Quincey of 
Massachusetts visited the principal Whig leaders of the province 
and found that North Carolina and New England were entirely 
accordant as to resistance to English encroachments." Colonel 
Harvey's hand-bills, over his own printed name, called upon the 
people to elect delegates to the proposed Provincial Congress, 
with the further recommendation that such a body should send 
delegates to the Philadelphia meeting of all the colonies. By 
the first day of August a large majority of the counties had held 
elections, in which delegates to the Congress were chosen. Gov- 
ernor Martin was exasperated upon hearing of the hand-bills and 
elections. He called together His Majesty's Council for North 
Carolina and addressed them in vehement terms against what he 
considered the dangerous and treasonable tendency of such popu- 
lar proceedings. He called upon them to concert measures to 
prevent the intended assemblage, set for the 25th day of August, 
at New-Bern. The Council asked for time in their deliberations, 
and on the next day informed His Excellency that they supposed 
a proclamation forbidding such a meeting would meet the end in 
view. The Governor at once complied with this advice and by 
proclamation he condemned the assemblies and elections as highly 
illegal, and especially denounced as treasonable and disloyal the 
proposed meeting in the very shadow of his Palace."] 

These official acts of Governor Martin were of no avail in 
stemming the current of popular determination. On the day 

*Josiah Quincey's Memoirs, page L19, fJones' Defence, page 77. 


appointed, he learned that the men elected bad despised his warn- 
ing and, with John Harvey at their head, were actually come t" 

New-Bern to hold their proposed Congress. The appeals of 
( rovernor Martin to his dismayed ( louncil only elicited the infor- 
mation that they "were unanimously of the opinion that no 
other steps could be taken at this conjuncture." Colonel John 
Harvey was elected Moderator of the Congress. The Perqui- 
mans statesman had for several years been the leader in ever) 
measure distasteful to the royal Governors. He had treated both 
Tryon and Martin on all occasions with a studied hauteur, which 
conveyed in unmistakable terms the bitterness of hi- opposition.^ 
He was ever elegant and courtly in his demeanor, but both in 
hi- official correspondence and personal bearing manifested a 
spirit of unbending assertion of the dignity of people's repre- 
sentative in comparison with that of the Crown.J Edward 
Moseley had introduced this rivalry between the Speaker and 
the ( rovernor, and to his kinsman and friend, Samuel Swann, was 
transmitted the traditional etiquette. Upon the assembling of 
tin' Congress, (Governor Martin was almost rude in bis greetings, 
and more than one who were not members of the obnoxious 
Convention had cause to complain of his incivilities.§ A very 
different state of affairs was observable at Williamsburg in Vir- 
ginia, where the Governor, Lord Dunmore, kept up social rela- 
tions with Colonel Washington and his compeers, and could 

(Note. — Governor Tryon utterly failed to make any impression upon 
Colonel Harvey. His blandishments and frowns were alike powerless to <Ii>- 
t u rli the even tenor of the tatter's opposition to the ( Ihief-Magistrate's schemes. 
It was probably the bitteresl moment in the Speaker's official experience, 
when as the month-piece of the Bouse of Assembly, he expressed that body's 
bumble apologies for the bold resolutions of 1769. He was no party otherwise 
in thai degrading retraction, and it was effected in defiance of his protest. 
His conduct on this occasion and' certain features in the 
Ki"t Act of 1771. lid Governor Tryon to procure the elevation <>t Colonel 
Caswell to the Speaker's chair. 

Martin, vol. 11. page 3S1. fjones, page L31. 

i Iredell to Mrs. Iredell. New- Bern, August, 177 1. 


procure a goodly show of the Burgesses at Lady Dunmore'e 
halls.* Josiah Martin was neither a wise nor politic ruler. The 
party friends of Governor Tryon were all driven into the opposi- 
tion and he was incapable of seeing the necessity of concession and 
politeness to men who were each day going nearer to armed 
resistance to all his claims of power. Like his misguided King, 
he could not realize that human traditions had lost their signifi- 
cance to the men of America. He supposed, as loyalty to the 
House of Hanover was still openly professed, that the same 
treatment which had proved so efficacious at Alamance would 
restore that humble submission to the royal will, in which he 
thought consisted the whole duty of man. 

The assembling of the Provincial Congress at New-Bern was 
the most important and significant event that had yet transpired in 
North Carolina in all the march toward independence. Nothing 
could have been more suggestive of the grave and perilous re- 
sponsibility assumed by Colonel Harvey in calling the Congress, 
than the fact that Chatham, Edgecombe, Guilford, Hertford, 
Surry and Wake counties and the boroughs of Hillsboro, Salis- 
bury, Brunswick and Campbellton failed to elect delegates to .-it 
therein. f It was felt to be an extreme and revolutionary step, 
and the good men of those localities shrank from an open rupture 
with the King and his officials. They heard their leaders pro- 
fessing loyalty, and yet concocting a scheme, which Governor 
Martin truthfully proclaimed, would end in resistance to consti- 
tuted authority. It was well that other sections of North Caro- 
lina did not follow these peaceful counsels, or the province 
would have a second time found itself unrepresented, when 
America had assembled her leading men for deliberation at 
Philadelphia. Governor Tryon had by prorogations and disso- 
lutions of the Assembly prevented all official co-operation by 
North Carolina in 1766, and Governor Martin had already made 

* Bancroft, vol. VII, page 54. + Jones' Defence, pages 128 and 129. 


up hi- mind t" a similar course, when the bravery and prompt- 
ness of ( "lone] Harvey frustrated his scheme.* 

Many of the leading men of the province were to be seen at 
New-Bern as members of the Congress or as interested spectators 
of the proceedings. t Most eloquenl of them all was the polished, 
genial and impulsive Hooper.J He and 6ery John A.she were 
delegates from New Hanover. Colonel Ashe was celebrated for 
the power of his oratory and personal influence with the people. 
1 n the latter respect he far surpassed his colleague, who pos- 
sessed do element of popular power. l>ut learning and bril- 
liant elocution. Samuel Johnston, with hi> massive intelligence 
and lofty pride, in the facts of his high character, long service 
and great wealth, was, with Joseph Ilewes and Thomas Jones, 
all of Chowan, likewise a conspicuous member. Hewes was 
delicate and dainty but inflexible in \\\> spirit of resistance to 
Britain. § 

Thomas Jones was a lawyer of good repute, and probably as 
even in his temperament as any man in all North Carolina. To 
this great moderation of views he was to be indebted for eminent 
service two years later, when he and Colonel Richard Caswell of 
Dobbs were to be the real authors of the fir-t < onstitution of the 
State of North Carolina. || Caswell was ihcontestably the great- 
est and most versatile man of all those illustrious patriots, who 
at SO much personal risk, were then watching the birth of an in- 
fant Commonwealth. He was equal event" Hooper in force and 
originality a< an orator and as a popular leader wa- far superior 
to John Ashe. He was as patient and laborious as he was gifted 
and brilliant; and whether as Governor, Treasurer or General in 
the field, was always to fill the full measure of the great and 
varied trusts committed to his keeping. He and Willie Jones 
of Halifax, in this and every body of which they were member-, 
were to be the leaders in impressing their view- of the true 

Jones' Defence, page L24. t Life of Iredell, vol 1, page 204 

[American Biography, page 124. {American Biography, page I-'-'. 

I tehates in < kmvention, page SI - 


American policy. 51 They were ever agreed and irresistible in 
their conjoined influence over the deliberative Assemblies of the 
Revolution and the succeeding years. Not much inferior to any 
of these was Allen Jones of Northampton, who was full brother 
of Willie Jones, but ever at variance with him as to the true 
policy of the people in the formation of their institutions. Allen 
Jones and Samuel Johnston were the great advocates of aristo- 
cratic rule, while Caswell and Willie Jones were to be the authors 
of a scheme far more democratic. 

Halifax also delegated Abner Nash to represent in part her 
people in the first Provincial Congress. He was fiery and im- 
pulsive and, like his brother, Francis Nash of Orange, eminently 
honorable and patriotic in all his life. Thomas Person of Gran- 
ville was another notable figure in this historic body. Pie was 
not eloquent, learned or polished in his demeanor, but in his 
brave adhesion to principle, his large wealth and great popular 
ascendency in his own portion of the province, he perhaps 
carried as much real weight to the Whig cause as any man in all 
the Congress. Richard Cogdell of Craven, Robert Howef of 
Brunswick and Samuel Spencer of Anson were all conspicuous 
for talent and virtue and with those already mentioned, consti- 

J 7 

*Note. — Willie Jones was a chapter of contradictions. He was always a 
leader of the Assembly and yet rarely joined in the debates and then only t<> 
utter a few pungent and pointed sentences. Again no man was so democratic 
in theory and yet so patrician in his habits and tastes. When the House had 
adjourned after exciting debate, his real strength manifested itself. No man 
could be so insinuating and convincing at the fire-side. Probably Governor 
Caswell never realized how much his views were colored by the elegant and 
adroit member for Halifax. Mr. Jones was authority on all matters touching 
field-sports and lost Miss Cornell and her large fortune in preference to a sur- 
render of his blood-horses. 

fNoTE. — Captain Robert Howe of Brunswick, late Commandant ot Fori 

Johnston, was another leader in this famous body. He dwelt at Orton on the 
right bank of the Cape Fear River, below Wilmington. He was a man ol 
eminent culture and spirit. Audacity in council and equal eloquence in de- 
bate and written discussion were his distinguishing traits. He was to acquir» 
great civil and martial fame, and to reach a higher command in the patriot 
armies than was the guerdon of any other North Carolinian of that age. 


iukmI the leading spirits of a body, which in the discharge of great 
public duties, well knew they were incurring th<' resentment of 
the most powerful and unforgiving of Kings. Young James 
Iredell, the Collector of Customs :it Edenton, was there also, 
though not a member, and to his activity and zeal in the patriot 
cause no small measure of honor was due in tin' success of 
Colonel Harvey's brave scheme of holding a Congress in spite 
of Governor Martin's opposition. 

The Congress having selected Colonel Harvey a> presiding 
officer, Andrew Knox, also one of the delegates from Per- 
quimans, was appointed Secretary.* Organization was perfected 
on August 2.")th, and on the next day it was resolved that three 
delegates should be appointed to attend as the representatives of 
North Carolina in the coming session of the Continental Con- 
gress, appointed for the ensuing month of September. Oh 
Saturday, the L'Tth, resolutions were passed touching the true 
relations of America and the government of Great Britain. t 
fealty and loyal submission were expressed toward the King 
and abhorrence was avowed of any act or sentiment tending to 
destroy the dutiful submission of the colonies to the Throne; 

but for the recent assumptions of the British Parliament there 
was abundant censure and rebuke. They claimed the full rights 
of Englishmen, and resolved to sustain such assertion by all 
means in their power. These rights they defined to be: that do 
subject should be taxed but by his own consent or that of his 
tegal representative: they asserted the illegality and oppression 
of the Navigation Act-, especially in the late provisions for an 
excise on tea. The course of the people of Massachusetts was 
eulogized as patriotic and spirited, and sympathy \\a> expressed 
for the suffering people of Boston. Trial by .jury of the 
vicinage was insisted on, as alike law and justice, and the new 
habit of carrying nun beyond the seas for trial for offenses 

alleged to have been committed in America, was denounced as 

Jones' I tefi oa . page 1 28 ; Wheeler, rol. I. pages ,;s; . 72, i I. 

-; M.uim. v., i. 1 1, page 331. 


being as unconstitutional as it was oppressive. An agreement 
was made that after January 1st, 1775, no East Indian or British 
goods should be imported; and in the event of no redress to their 
grievances, all exportation of tobacco and naval stores to Great 
Britain should cease on October 1st of the same year. 

It was further resolved that after September 1st, 1774, all use 
of East India tea should cease in their families, and all person- 
forbearing to comply in this matter were to be considered as 
enemies to the American people.- Another resolution declared 
that the people of North Carolina would from all trade 
with any American port which should presume to disregard the 
plans and injunctions to be devised by the General Congress in 

Richard Caswell, William Hooper and Joseph Hewes were 
chosen as North Carolina's delegates to the Continental Congress, 
and the following instructions were given for their conduct in 
that body: They were to express the loyal attachment of their 
province to the King, and the resolutions to support his lawful 
authority, but at the same time it was to be understood that the 
natural right of self-defence, as to persons and property, would 
be asserted against all unconstitutional encroachments. They 
were to maintain the claim of the province to all privileges of 
British subjects, especially as to paying no taxes except those 
levied with consent; and that the Legislature of North Carolina 
alone had power of making laws for the internal police of the 
colony. They were further to concur with the delegates of other 
colonies in such regulations, addresses and remonstrances as were 
calculated to restore peace and harmony and procure redress of 

Having further passed a resolution against the importation of 
African slaves after the 1st day of November, 1774, the Con- 
gress adjourned, having resolved, "That the thanks of this meet- 
ing be given to the Honorable John Harvey, Esquire, Moderator, 
for his faithful exercise of that office, and the service lie has 

* Jones' Defence, pages 144, 14"). 



rendered thereby this province and the freed f America in 


In determining the sense of the Provincial Congress upon 
measures before it, the vote was taken by ••"initio and towns en- 
titled to special representation.! As every constituency paid the 
expenses of their own delegation, they were allowed to limit the 
n n in I >cr ami .-cut as many or few as seemed besl tothem.t Having 
resolved that a committee of five be appointed for each county 
t<> see that the resolutions adopted at New-Bern should be carried 
out. and having empowered the Moderator and. in case of hi- 
death, Samuel Johnston, to call together the deputies in other 
sessions, the Congress adjourned. 

The Boston Port Bill had taken effect on the 1st day of June. 
This out-growth of ministerial vengeance had effectually -l.ut 
this emporium of American trade. Not even a hale of bay 
could he carried by water into that sealed-up harbor.§ All 
movement of water craft was watched and prevented by naval 
force at hand. The busy thousands of artisans and sailors were 
driven to enforced idleness, with prospective want and starvation 
as the guerdons of their forward and presumptuous patriotism. 
North Carolina was not behind the other colonic- in ministering 
to the vicarious sufferings of this devoted people. Four thou- 
sand dollar- were subscribed and -cut forth in supplies from the 
Cape Fear country alone. It was felt that Boston was being ill- 
used tor acts and sentiments which actuated all America and 
thus her quarrel became that of a continent. 

In September, Messrs. Caswell, Hooper and EEewes met the 
delegates of all the colonies save < reorgia, Nova Scotia and ( r ii- 
bec, at Philadelphia. At that hour but few men in all America 
contemplated independence. Patrick Henry. Samuel Adams 

and William Hooper had all given utterance to sentiments that 

plainly indicated, what probably they had not fully confessed to 
themselves. The first American Continental Congress avowed 

•Jones' Defence, page II*. Martin, vol. [I, 'page 836. 

(Jones, page 1 16. g Bancroft, vol. VII. page 57. 


its loyalty to King George III., and was eloquent in protestations 
of attachment to the land of their fathers. They were neverthe- 
less united in their determination to defend their chartered rights. 
The wrongs of Boston could tire the soul of Christopher Gadsden 
into such indignation that he was willing to march at once against 
General Gage and his army, but peaceful Dickinson was far more 
potent with his counsels of moderation and conciliation. Samuel 
Adams, prophetic and inexorable, bided his time and endorsed 
with Henry, the declaration of Hawley, that "after all we must 

In the progress of the debates at Philadelphia, the North 
Carolina delegation were not backward in the discharge of the 
high trust committed to their keeping. They were possessed of 
plenary powers to "make any acts done by them, or consent given 
in behalf of this province, obligatory in honor upon any inhabi- 
tant thereof who is not an alien to his country's good, and an 
apostate to the liberties of America." Hooper's eloquence was 
startling to the body which had not dreamed of such culture in 
a citizen of the plain community then in North Carolina. f He 
was appointed on several important committees, and was greatly 
respected for the boldness of his views and the power and 
learning with which he invariably illustrated his sentiments.]; 
Caswell was far more potent in his management of the men with 

JNote. — One of the mysteries of American history were the unfounded 
aspersions of Thomas Jefferson upon the memory of Hooper, who had been, 
at the utterance of the calumnies, in his grave for many years. Men who 
knew him best were alike astonished and indignant that, the great Virginian 
should have been so blinded by his did resentment. Hooper, like Samuel 
Johnston, was ever averse to the startling innovations formulated by the 
greatest of political philosophers, and thus between the conservatism of one 
and the radicalism of the other grew up a bitter animosity on the part of 
Jefferson. It is a mournful thought that such grand intellectual endowments 
should have been marred by any moral obliquity in the person of the greatest 
of our Presidents; but it is evident that he could defame a rival or over-reach 
a foe by means that were far from being justifiable. 

•^Bancroft, vol. VII, page 144. v American Biography, page 424. 


whom he came in contact. Hooper was cold to any but his inti- 
mate friends and disdained the use of every effort at popularity. 
His colleague was as magnetic as his <i]<l friend Governor 
Tryon,and managed assemblies more by social strategems than dis- 
plays of the really great powers he possessed as a forensic reasoner. 
Joseph Hewes was also dainty in his notions <>i' parliamentary 
and social propriety and, like Hooper, won respect purely by his 
culture and devotion to his duties.! He helped to draw up the 
celebrated report of the committee on the "rights of the colonies 
in general, the several instances in which those rights are viola- 
ted or infringed, and the means most proper to l>e pursued for 
obtaining a restoration of them." 

The Continental Congress having prepared an address to the 
King and resolved upon a cessation of all commercial inter- 
course after 1st of December in the event of a refusal to redress 
their grievances, adjourned to meet again in May of the following 
year. On January 20th, L 775, the great Karl of Chatham, in 
the House of Lords, in discoursing upon the address sent over, 
gave utterance to these memorable words: "When your Lord- 
ships look at the papers transmitted us from America, when you 
consider their decency, firmness and wisdom, you cannot l»ut 
respect their cause, and wish to make it your own. Formyself, 
I must avow, in all my reading — and 1 have read Thucydides 
and studied and admired the master state- of the world — for 
Bolidity of reason, force of sagacity and wisdom of conclusion, 
under a complication of difficult circumstances, no nation or 
body of men can stand in preference to the General Congress at 
Philadelphia. The histories of ( Sreece and Rome give us nothing 
equal to it, and all attempt- t<> impose servitude upon such a 
mighty continental nation must he in vain."} Lord Suffolk 

answered Chatham and asserted that the Ministry were resolved 
to repeal nothing and to go forward in their measures of coercion. 

V Macon's Speech ; Debates in Convention, 1835 
I ■ iters i" [redell. 
^Bancroft, vol. VII. page 202. 


Governor Martin spent the fall of 1774 in New York, and 
President Hasell assumed the government of North Carolina in 
the period of his absence. The Council was convened and the 
Insolvents Act disallowed, under letters-patent from the Crown. 
It was thought imprudent to allow any session of the General 
Assembly; so that body was prorogued by proclamation dated 
some time in November. 

The Continental Congress had produced a state of feeling 
that was intense and permanent, as to the proper vindication of 
the colonies. The extraordinary nature of the dangers threat- 
ening them called for unusual precautions. It was seen that 
division among themselves would inevitably lead to speedy and 
ignominious overthrow, in case a formidable portion of the 
American people should sustain Lord North in his measures. 
No steps could be taken which could so certainly lead to unanim- 
ity as the formation of committees and associations. In this way 
the sentiments of every honest man in the different section- 
could be ascertained and even the disaffected often committed to 
the apparent support of the Whig cause. 

The earliest recorded proceedings of a Committee of Safety 
were those of Wilmington. On November 23rd, 1774, the 
freeholders of that town met in the court house and selected 
Cornelius Harnett, John Quince, Francis Clayton, William 
Hooper, Robert Hogg, John Ancrum, Archibald Maclaine, John 
Robeson and James Walker, "in order to carry more effectually 
into execution the resolves of the late Congress at Phila- 

The first thing effected by this body was to order the return 
of a cargo of tea which had been shipped to William Hill. 
Three days later a horse-race which was advertised, received the 
disapprobation of the Committee in accordance with a recenf reso- 
lution of the Continental Congress. A month later Hen Id 
Blackmore received five negro slaves from a foreign port, contrary 

'Minutes of Committee, page 1. 


to the New-Bern resolution, and they wen- ordered to be Benl 
back. ( )n the same day, December 26th, 1774, John Slingsby <& 
Co. reported the arrival of a cargo of general merchandise, which 
was sold under the direction of the ( Jommittee, the consignees be- 
coming the highest bidders and purchasers. A week later, mer- 
chants were besought to bring in and sell at five shillings a pound, 
all the gunpowder in the city, which amounted on January 1th, 
1775, to one hundred pounds. 

Benjamin Franklin was already world-famous as a statesman 
and philosopher. He was in London with the hope of arranging 
the unhappy disputes between Britain and her colonies. The 
coarse brutality of the English A.ttorney-General, Wedder- 
burne,* and the systematic ill-treatment by all the Ministry, save 
Lord North, had not been able to overcome his desire of some 
peaceful arrangement of the growing dispute. It was the settled 
determination of the King that America should be forced into 
subjection to his views, and that rebellious Massachusetts should 
be sufficiently punished for the Tea Riot and other offenses. In 
mockery of every scheme of the many good men who, on both 
sides of the Atlantic Ocean, were praying for peace, an overruling 
Providence was surely conducting affairs to complete revolution 
and unprecedented advancement in human blessings. 

Upon Governor Martin's return from New York in .January, 
1775, he found a fresh occasion for a denunciatory proclamation 
in Judge Richard Henderson's purchase of Cherokee lands, 
located in the present State of Kentucky. 1' It was nol due to 
his efforts thai North Carolina was, with New York, excepted 
from the fresh restrictions laid by Parliament upon American 
commerce.!] This bill became law in February, and it was 

JNote. — The fart that North Carolina and others were excepted from this 
offensive bill of pains ado p nalties was rightly attributed to the active inter- 
ference of i tovernor Tryon, who though ruler of New York, was j el eager \<> 
advise and control the English policy as regarded North Carolina. His pur- 

Lives of the < lhancellors; Life of Loughborough. 

!.l..ii. 9 1 1 >. fence, pages 151, 162. 


through Governor Tryon, then in England, and Thomas Barker 
and Alexander Elmsly, agents for the province, that this doubt- 
ful honor was conferred.* Barker and Elmsly were both <li.-- 
tinguished as provincial advocates before their employment as 
English Agents of the colony. They had succeeded ILcnrv 
Eustace McCulloh a year before and were gentlemen of equal 
talent and character. f 

On February 11th, Colonel Harvey as the Moderator of the 
Provincial Congress, issued a proclamation by means of printed 
hand-bills over his own name, calling upon the people to elect 
delegates to another Convention to meet at New-Bern, April .'5rd. 
These papers had a great and speedy diffusion throughout the 
province. This stirred Governor Martin to call the Council to- 
gether and he laid the matter before them. They joined him in 
condemning the proposition of convening the Congress at the 
sime time and place with the General Assembly as highly pre- 
sumptuous and seditious : accordingly, a proclamation was issued 
calling upon the people to " forbear from electing delegates or 
assembling themselves in any such unlawful and revolutionary 
bodies" as that proposed by Colonel John Harvey. This docu- 
ment, like many of its predecessors, was unheeded by the people 

pose was to create divisions and curry favor with the men so lately his lieges. 
To show the effect in the province of this new measure, it is only necessary to 
quote the language of the Wilmington Committee of Safety, who on July 21st, 
1775, resolved 

1. That the exception of this colony and some others, out of the said act, 
is a base and mean artifice to seduce them into a desertion of the common 
cause of America. 

2. That we will not accept of the advantages insidiously thrown out by tin 
said ait, hut will adhere strictly to such plans as have been, and shall lie en- 
tered into by the Honorable Continental Congress; so as to keep up a per- 
fect unanimity witli our sister colonies. J 

*Letter from A. Elmsly to Samuel Johnston, April 7th, L775. 
f Jones' Defence, page 152; Martin, vol. II, page 340. 
^Proceedings of Committee, page 42. 


who went on with their choice of representatives. There had 
been several counties and towns in the province which bad failed 
to elect delegates the year before, bat there was do Buch derelic- 
tion repeated on this occasion. Jn almost every instance the 
Burgesses were also elected members of the Congress, and in 
some case- others were added to the members allowed in the 
House of Assembly. The perishing fabric of British supremacy 
was typified in the angry impotence of unhappy Josiah Martin. 
to whose public perplexities was now added a poignant and 
lasting; sorrow in the loss of a son. t The strenuous and un- 
blenching heart of John Harvey was sustaining his fast-failing 
physical powers, and he went forward in his great work of 
getting North Carolina into effective co-operation with the other 
American colonies. 

Governor Martin soon found that his violent pronunciamento 
against Colonel Harvey had utterly failed of effect with the 
people. He convened the Council, April 2nd, and laid before 
them the King's instructions lor preventing the appointment of 
delegates to the Continental Congress to assemble in .May. 
dames Hascll, Samuel Strudwick, Martin Howard and Samuel 
Cornell were still devoted in their adhesion to the Crown, and 
as usual recommended another proclamation. Accordingly, on 
the very morning upon which the Provincial Congress was to 
assemble, another of those fruitless appeals called upon the 
members, in the King's name, to desist from their proposed con- 
vention, "to forbear the election of delegates to Philadelphia. 
and to withdraw themselves from all such unlawful purposes, on 
the pain of His Majesty's highest displeasure." 

[n spite of all this waste of word- on the part of the royal 
Governor, the second Provincial Congress quietly met on April 
3rd, and elected < lolonel Harvey a- Moderator. I Caving clothed 

him with plenary power over the matter a.- to when they should 

-it as a Convention, the body adjourned. < >u the next day the 

Martin, vol 1 1, page 340. 

rernor Swain'- Lecture on the Campaign of 1776. 


same men again assembled and elected Colonel Harvey ste the 
Speaker of the new House of Assembly. There was a singular 
series of scenes and dissolving views as the Chairman would 
announce first the Congress and then the House of Assembly 
in session.* The House of Assembly would sometimes, as on 
April 7th, be found trespassing upon functions strictly belonging 
to the Congress and were found complimenting Caswell, Hooper 
and Hewes for their services at Philadelphia. 

In this, his last address to the General Assembly, Governor 
Martin was prolix as he was envenomed. He perhaps little 
thought, as he fulminated his valedictory, so full of complaint 
and ungracious displeasure, that never again were the Burges<es 
of North Carolina to obey his summons to the Palace. With 
wasted form and kindling eyes, stern John Harvey stood with 
his House at his back and received the last scolding; an English 
satrap was ever to be allowed to give the best men of a wise 
people for insisting upon their undoubted rights.!' 

Governor Martin told the Assembly that he looked with hor- 
ror upon the proceedings in some of the colonies. That such 
violent and unjustifiable conduct was calculated to weaken the 
allegiance of the unwary and ignorant masses and induce endless 
miseries in its consequences. They were bound by duty to the 
King and the province to obviate the contagion of such evil ex- 
amples and to defend the land from the ruin which impended. 
He had already seen the unhappy effects upon North Carolina. 
The meetings and committees, and little, unrestrained tribunals 
by them created, had injured the rights of the Crown and 
offered flagrant and unpardonable insults to the highest officers 
of the province. The administration of public justice had been 
obstructed and such was the condition of affairs as to plainly de- 
mand their best efforts at correction. They were in duty bound 
to oppose the meeting of the Provincial Congress. It was an 
illegal bodv, unknown to the laws and Constitution and in conflict 
with their own rig-hts and dignities. He had striven to counter- 

■•Jones, page 101. fMartin, vol. II. pages 340, 34] 346. 



act this Invasion and should persevere in >u«-li a course. What 
could be the significance of such a body? Were they, as Bur- 
gesses, not the peculiar representatives of the people, and were 
they not competent guardians of their rights? Would they sub- 
mil thus to see their constituents misled and their own dignity 
insulted by the constitution of a new set of representatives in 
derogation of their authority? It was a fata] imitation imported 
from other colonies and he hoped thai they would see its mis- 
chievous effects and join him in it> suppression. 

The object <>t' greatest concern to all the provinces was to re- 
move the false impressions, by which alienation had been sought 
between the parent State and her colonies. The basest means 
had been used for this purpose. Then it should be the care of 
the General Assembly to lead back the people to allegiance, and 
avert the dangers they were so heedlessly incurring. The En- 
glish Parliament was at that very time deliberating for the good 
of America and it became them to wait upon the result with 
confidence and submission. To no other tribunal could they 
reasonably appeal for the granting of their demands. A great 
opportunity lor usefulness was now before them. Let North 
( 'arolina do her part in subduing the spirit of -edition and receive 
the applause of posterity. Especially was it their duty, to for- 
bear sending delegates to the proposed meeting in Philadelphia, 
as such conduct would he highly offensive to His Majesty, the 
King. The exhausted treasury and total absence of all courts 
were matters of the highest moment and most urgently demanded 
their attention. 

Robert Howe. William Hooper, Samuel Johnston, Joseph 
Hewes and Thomas McKnighl were appointed a committee to 

\' >i i). —Thomas McKnighl of Currituck was :i neighbor of Colonel Har- 
vey, Mini Iiis Torj predilections were probably even then known to the wise and 
adroit Speaker, who appointed the members "i tin above committee. Mc- 
Knighl was by no means prominent for zeal or intelligence on either Bide <•!' 
th( great contest, and ii was thus only a stroke of policy which led to his 
appointment on so important a reference. Be was to exhibit :it least manli- 

in refusing i" - i u 1 1 tin- articles "i association. lit- stood bv the King mi 

tin- occasion, but no more appeared in the development of the.struggle. Far- 


prepare an address in answer to that of Governor Martin, and 
on Friday, April 7th, Captain Howe reported in substance as 
follows:* His Majesty's faithful subjects, the members of the 
House of Assembly of Xorth Carolina, had taken into consider- 
ation His Excellency's speech at the opening of the session. They 
were there with minds and hearts devoted to the public good. 
The Assemblv declared their firm allegiance to the Kino-, as Con- 
stitutional Sovereign, who like themselves was acting under the 
-auction of an oath for their protection in all just rights and 
privileges. They contemplated with horror the condition of 
America involved in difficulties and distressed by invasions of 
ancient rights and immunities. In this way the colonies had 
been driven to measures, which however extraordinary were still 
warranted by necessity. The appointment of committees in 
counties and towns had been adopted to resist unconstitutional en- 
croachments and the Assembly was convinced that no step had 
been taken in that direction, which was not salutary and proper. 
It was not to be controverted that all British subjects had the 
right of assembling and petitioning for redress of grievances 
and any attempt to deny or abridge this privilege was in direct 
conflict with the Constitution. It was the least of their desires 
to prevent the objects and session of the Provincial Congress, 
then in session at New-Bern, or to join His Excellency in his in- 
jurious epithets in its disparagement. Its members wen 1 the peo- 
ple's representatives in a special cause, in which the Burgesses had 
been in a measure considered inadequate, from the fact that their 
sessions were under the control of the Crown and thus could be 

quhard Campbell and another from Cumberland swallowed all the <>;itli> ever 
proposed, and were all the while Tories and traitors. McKnight incurred 
odium and sank out of sight politically, and in so doing was probably bul 
carrying out what he thought was right. It required both courage and con- 
scientious devotion to face the treatment he experienced in the Congress : for 
in refusing to sign the article- <A' association lie incurred the hatred of almost 
all his associates. 

-Martin, vol. II. page :>4<i; Jones' Defence, page 1<>7. 

182 msT<>l;\ OF NORTH I AROLINA. 1775. 

prorogued or dissolved whenever it suited the Governor. The 
people had good cause to believe thai no representatives of theirs 
would be allowed to -it until too late for the appointment of dele- 
gates to the < Continental < longress. The Burgesses knew of none 
of the base arts His Excellency had mentioned as being practiced 
on tlic people, in leading them from their duty. Inn were well 
aware that a variety of proceedings on the pari of Parliament 
bad abundantly justified the -tips which had been taken. It 
was their duly to say that base art.- had been used by wicked and 
designing men as against the American people and they regretted 
to hear Governor .Martin sanctioning such groundless imputa- 
tions, as it tended to weaken the force of their petitions sent over 
to England for redress. They would be concerned to hear that 
(he appointment of delegates to Philadelphia would be oifensive 
to the King, if they did not know that His Majesty had been 
pleased to receive most graciously the late petition of the United 
( lolonies. They had therefore no reason to suppose a petition of 
one or more of the provinces could prove distasteful. 

They were pleased at the Governor'- information touching 
recent marks of loyalty in certain portions of North Carolina, 
hut from his manner of conveying such information. they feared 
he would produce the impression abroad that others were pos- 
sessed of different feelings. They took occasion to say that the 
Ki ng had no more devoted subjects than their constituents. If 
the proofs of loyalty we're the lately-published addresses in the 
North Carolina Gazette, they could not join in felicitations over 
the fact, that among so many people, a few mis-guided men hail 
adopted principles contrary to the sense of all America, and so 
destructive of all just rights and privileges. The House of 
Assembly denied that the state of the provincial treasury was in 

any way attributable to (hem, a- wa- also the forlorn condition 
of the colony in the matter of the courts. The\ would gladly 

aid in the establishment of a proper Court System hut declined 
any provision tor Fort Johnston. 

( )n the 8th of April, ( rovernor Martin dissolved the Assembly 

and not one Bingle act of that -e— ion became a law. It was the 


last Legislature that ever met in North Carolina under royal 
auspices, and only suffered an interruption that had been foreseen, 
and for which provision had been made. AVhen Mr. Bieeleston 
the Governor's Private Secretary, came with the proclamation that 
ended the legal existence of the Assembly, Colonel Harvey had 
only to announce that the Provincial Congress was in session and 
the great work of the people's redemption proceeded in spite of 
the baffled Governor, who looked on in impotent rage from the 
Palace so close at hand.* Having passed resolutions to encour- 
age arts, manufactures and agriculture, it was next voted that 
Governor Martin's late course in forbidding their assembling 
and then ordering them to disperse, was an illegal infraction of 
their rights, and therefore rightfully disregarded, being only the 
wanton exercise of arbitrary power. The acts of the late ( lonti- 
nental Congress were highly applauded and the course of the 
North Carolina delegates therein endorsed, and the same gentle- 
men were re-elected to attend at Philadelphia on a new session 
of that body, appointed for the ensuing month. 

Articles of association had been agreed upon in the previous 
Philadelphia Congress, by which subscribers bound themselvc< 
to abstain from all commerce with British marts. These resolu- 
tions w r ere adopted by the members of the Provincial Congress 
at New-Bern, with the exception of Thomas McK night of Cur- 
rituck, who for his contumacy was denounced as an enemy of 
the American people and held up to general scorn. Governor 
Martin called his Council together and they vented their dis- 
pleasure on Colonel Harvey by striking his name from the li^t 
of magistrates in Perquimans. f The King had sent over emis- 
saries to the Highlanders and Regulators, and Governor Martin 
confidently relied upon his schemes for assistance in the same di- 
rection. The Indians too were being tampered with for a similar 
purpose. Arms were soon to be shipped for them and the ne- 
groes.^ A few cannon were placed before the Palace t<> over-awe 

-Martin, vol. II, page 381. fMartin, vol. II. page •;:;'-'. 

JBancroft, vol. II, page 343. 


tilt' people o I' New -lit tii. lint while Governor M;il'lin and his 

Council were in session, I )r. Alexander ( Jaston and Richard Cog- 
del] beaded men who forcibly seized and bore them off on April 
'24th. That night the terrified Governor and Bomeof bis faithful 
advisers Hed to Wilmington and soon afterwards to Fori John- 
ston, at the month of Cape Fear River, and thus ended forever 
English rule in the Province of North Carolina.^ 

JNote. — < rovernor Martin soon found that he had as redoubtable antagonists 
on the Cape Pear as those from whom he had retreated, in his flight from 
New-Bern. Another election had been held by the freeholders of Wilmington 
mi January 1th, 1 7 7 -~> . and a new Committee of Safety was chosen, This bod} 
consisted of Messrs. George Moore, Samuel Ashe, John ^she, James Moore, 
Frederick Jones, Alexander Lillington, Sampson Moseley, Samuel Swann, 
and George Merrick for » In- town, and Messrs. John Hollingsworth, Samuel 
« oilier, Samuel Marshall, William Jones, .John Larking Joel Parish, John 
Devane, Timothy Bloodworth, Thomas Devane, .John Marshall. John Colvin, 
Bishop Dudley and William Robeson lor New Hanover county. Cornelius 

Harnett was made Chairman and Francis < layton. Secretary. The members of 

the old committee retained their places, and the above-named members were 

hut added. Adam Boyd published the Copt Fear Mercury, a weekly news- 
paper under their patronage and directions, at five dollars a year in "proclama- 
tion money." Soon .lames Kenan, Chairman of the Duplin Committee, joined in 
their conferences and produced an extension of amicable visits from the com- 
patriots of other counties. 

(Jones' I defence, page \~ 1. 

1775. W \\i \T I. VST. 185 


A. I). 177") TO 1 7 7G. 

The skirmish at Lexington tires all the American Continent Mecklenburg 
and the Declaration of May 20th, 177"), and resolutions of : > 1 s t — Colonel 
Polk, Abraham Alexander and Dr. Ephraim Brevard — Condition of the 
province — The ( lomraittees of Safety — Associations — Death of ( 'olonel John 
Harvey — John Ashe drives Governor .Martin from Fort Johnston to the 
sloop-of-war Oruiser — Samuel Johnston calls another Congress at Hills- 
boro — He is made Moderator — The old Regulators — Military districts laid 
out — Cornelius Harnett at the head of provisional government — Regu- 
lators and Scotch Highlanders — John and Samuel Ashe sent to the malcon- 
tents in New Hanover — The two first Continental battalions ordered — Colo- 
one] Howe goes to Norfolk — Colonel Rutherford and others march against 
the Scovilites in South Carolina — Both expeditions successful — Promotion 
of Colonels Moore and Howe — The Cumberland Scotch are aroused by 
Governor Martin to his aid — The McDonalds and McLeod — Preparations 
to invade North Carolina — Colonel Moore confronts the loyalists at Rock- 
fish Creek — McDonald calls on Moore to surrenderor join the King's stand- 
ard — Caswell's approach alarms the Scotch and they seek to escape — Moore 
at Rockfish — He sends Ashe and Lillington to Moore's Creek — Retreat ol 
the Scotch — Battle of Moore's Creek— Consequences of this victory upon 
the province. 

When the year 1775 had come upon America, the obnoxious city 
of Boston, of all the colonies, was alone feeling the full force of 
British oppression. General Gage and his army held that de- 
voted place in a state of siege. At length, on the 19th of April, 
came the affair at Lexington. We constantly hear of accidents 
vastly more destructive of human life, but this insignificant skir- 
mish fired the hearts of a continent. Such an occurrence in our 
day outstrips the wind in promulgation of its tidings. In less 
than an hour it is known all over the Mississippi valley, across 
the Rocky Mountains and along the far-off shores of the Pacific 
Ocean. Our stout-hearted ancestors had no telegraphs or rail- 
roads, and it was full two weeks after the slain militiamen had 
stiffened in their blood ere the good people of Carolina were 
aroused by the pea] of war. Richard Caswell was on his way 

186 IIlM'nKY 01 NORTH CAROLIN \. 1775. 

as a delegate from North Carolina, to attend the session of the 
Continental Congress, then aboul to assemble in Philadelphia. 
He met the New England courier harrying southward with the 
Dews, at Petersburg in the Province of Virginia, on the 1st day of 
May. By the nineteenth of that month it reached Charlotte, 
N. ( !., and one day later the men of Mecklenburg mel in conven- 
tion and declared the independence of the colonies. 

The little village of Charlotte contained the court-house of 
Mecklenburg county and was likewise the seal of an infant liter- 
ary institution known as Queen's Museum. It had been for 
months past the centre and focus of a great political interest. 
( rovernor Martin had relied upon those western counti< B,of which 
it was an emporium, for aid in the struggle bo plainly now on 
hand. He had written to Lord Sandwich : "I have no doubt 
that 1 could command their be-t service* at a word in any emer- 
gency. 1 consider I have the means in my own hands to main- 
tain the sovereignty of this country to mv royal master in all 
'•vent-.'" He was most thoroughly undeceived, when in the 
Wilmington papers, he read the resolutions of men who had 
reached a point requiring more than a year of warfare to impress 
upon the remainder of their countrymen. 

Colonel Thomas Polk and Abraham Alexander had. year- be- 
fore, incurred the displeasure of the North Carolinians by their 
compliance with Governor Martin'- wishes in running the South 
Carolina line. f They were now the leader- of patriotic senti- 
ment and had been prominent in several gatherings of the peo- 
ple, on the subject of the recent English declaration that the 
colonies were in a Btate of actual rebellion. Colonel Polk, as 
commander of the Mecklenburg militia, had procured the appoint- 
ment of two men from each company as delegates to a County 
( Convention in ( lharlotte. Abraham Alexander was made ( 'hair- 
man, and Ephraim Brevard and John McKnitt Alexander. Sec- 
retaries. In the midst of their deliberations came the new- of 
the blood-shed at Lexington. I distance prevented aid being Bent 

►Bancroft, vol. VII, page 373. Martin, vol. II. pag< 288 


to New England, or men and supplies would have ;it once gone 
forward.* Ephraim Brevard had learned much while a student 
at Nassau Hall and since, and to him was committed the task <>f 
expressing the sentiments of the Convention. As an immortal 

legacy to after ages, he embodied in lit language, the promptings 
of that strong-hearted and magnanimous people. 

They were far from the scene of the recent bloodshed at 
Lexington, but the cause of Massachusetts was also theirs, 
and they felt that a blow struck in New England in furtheranc* 
of British aggression must ultimately be repeated in North Caro- 
lina. It was therefore resolved: 

1. That whosoever directly or indirectly abets, or in any way. form or man- 
ner countenances the unchartered and dangerous invasion of our rights, as 
claimed by Great Britain, is an enemy to this country — to America — and to 
the inherent and unalienable rights of man. 

2. That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people; are, 
and of right ought to be a sovereign and sell-governing association, under the 
control of no power, other than that of our < rod and the (/literal government of 
the Congress: To the maintenance of which independence we solemnly pli 

to each other our mutual co-operation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most 
sacred honor. 

3. That all, each and every military officer in this country is hereby rein- 
stated in his former command and authority, he acting conformably to their 
regulations. And that every member present of this delegation, shall hence- 
forth Be a civil officer, viz: a Justice of the Peace, in the character of a com- 
mittee-man, to issue process, hear and determine all matters of controversy, 
according to said adopted laws, and to preserve the peace, union and harmonj 
in said county, to use every exertion to spread the love of country and fire of 
freedom throughout America, until a more general and organized government 
he established in this province. 

This famous set of resolution- was signed by Abraham 
Alexander, as Chairman, and John MeKnitt Alexander, as 
Secretary. It was likewise inscribed with the names of Ephraim 
Brevard, Hezekiah J. Balch, John Phifer, James Hani-, Wil- 
liam Kennon, John Ford, Richard Barry, Henry Downe, Ezra 

"'Bancroft, vol. VII., page 371. 



Alexander, William Graham, John Queary, Hezekiah Alexan- 
der, A < lai 11 Alexander, Charles Alexander, Zaccheus Wilson, 
Waightstill Avery, Benjamin Patton, Matthew McClure, Neil 
Morrison, Robert Irvin, .John Flennegin, David, John 
Davidson, Richard Han-is and Thomas Polk, Sr. 

Rev. H.J. Balch, Dr. Ephraira Brevard and William Ken- 
non, an attorney, addressed the Convention. There was una- 
nimity except in the case of the Regulators, who were among 
the spectators. They drew hack from the peril and excused 
themselves from the movement on the plea of their obligations 
in taking; the oaths administered by Governor Tryon. The 
resolutions were forwarded to the Continental Congress then in 
session at Philadelphia, by Captain James Jack, and also to the 
Provincial Congress. Thev were brought to the attention of the 
latter body by Mr. Moderator, Samuel Johnston, on August 
25th, 1775.* 

N< > i e. — Since the publication of the famous correspondence between John 
Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and the doubts expressed by the latter, as to 
the authenticity of the Mecklenburg Declaration, there have been other men, 
who have uttered reflections of the same nature. All are agreed that the n so- 
lutions of May 31st, 1775, are authentic. It is beyond all cavil that Gov- 
ernor Martin had seen some resolutions of Mecklenburg on June ."> n th. for he 
that day wrote to the English Secretary of State, saying: "The resolves oi 
the "Committee of Mecklenburg, which your lordship will find in the enclosed 
newspaper, surpasses all the horrid and treasonable publications that the inflam- 
atory spirits of the continent have yet produced. Thecopy of the 

resolves was sent ofF, 1 am informed, by express to the Congress at Philadel- 
phia, as soon a-^ thev were passed in the committee." The resolutions of the 

Committee for the C ity of Mecklenburg uttered on the 31st, arc preserved 

in a copy of the Xmth Carolina Gazette, which was printed at Charleston in 

the month of June of the same year, and from that journal were also copied 
into the New York newspapers of that period. 

It ha- been suggested that the copy of the resolutions of May 20th, i- not 

reliable from the fact that the original paper was destroyed in the burning "I 
John McKnitt Alexander'- house in 18(H); hut this amounts to nothing, as 
Alexander then stated to many perS0D8 that a perfect copy was in the hands 

of Genera] William K. Davie. This paper is yet preserved and fully cor- 
roborates the reproduction of the lost original by tin- venerable Secretary. 

Wheeler, vol. 1 1, page 70. 


Eleven days later, the same men re-assembled at Charlotte to 
complete a work so bravely inaugurated on May 20th, 1775. 
In disavowing and annulling the royal authority, they had dis- 
placed every Justice of the Peace, Sheriff and provincial and 
county officer. All of* these held their places by virtue of direct 
or indirect appointment by Governor Martin. That functionary 
was at the very time lying off Brunswick in the sloop-of-war 
Cruiser and issuing commissions with the full assent of the Wil- 

It appears to this writer that the people did make the declaration in question 
on May 20th and that the resolutions adopted eleven days later by the Com- 
mittee of Safety are the most necessary and natural corollary imaginable to 
that "gigantic step," as it was well characterized by Mr. Jefferson. The peo- 
ple had abjured the King and made no provision for their future government 
except to appoint the delegates of the Convention as Justices of the Peace. 
With the King's authority fell that of every appointee under the provincial 
government. They therefore, on the last day of the month, elaborated a sys- 
tem which not only made peace in their own borders but won them the proud 
distinction of being denounced by Lord Cornwallis as the most disloyal people 
in all America. 

Again; it is indisputable that in effect the resolutions of May 81st were a 
complete abjuration of royal authority and only fell short of the real Decla- 
ration in the saving clause of Article XVIII, where it was provided that the 
new polity was to be valid until overruled by the Provincial Congress, or "the 
legislative body of Great Britain resigns its unjust and arbitrary pretensions 
with respect to America." Any candid mind contrasting these resolutions 
with those of New Hanover, Cumberland, Franklin or any other American 
community can but be amazed at the vigor and audacity of the Mecklenburg 
people. Governor Martin settled the fact that they were sent to Philadelphia 
and it is patent to every historian why the North Carolina delegation at that day 
forbore their presentation. Such a step and their endorsement by Congress 
would have driven from that body at least one half of it- members. Tin 
doubting Dickinsons of a year later would have left their seats and at ono 
made terms with the King. It was only by the greatest protestations of fealty 
to him that many were, months later, kept in their places. When the papers 
were laid before the Hillsboro Congress on the 25tb day of August, they were 
greeted by a body that voted down Hooper's proposition for a permanent con- 
federation, avowedly upon the ground that it was probable that Borne arrange- 
ment would soon be effected which would restore tin- King's authority. It can 
then be understood why pains were taken to give a- little publicity as possible 
to a matter, which astounded and dismayed such men as Samuel Johnston. 

The substance of the whole controversy touching the authenticity of the 
Mecklenburg Declaration is then, alter all. at best but frivolous. If they did 


mington Committee of Safety.* II*' was to be assured in August 
by resolution of the Provincial Congress thai he could in all 
safety and honor re-occupy his Palace at New-Bern. Under 
Midi circumstances, while everywhere else men were protesting 
that they were still loyal to the King, on May 31st, lTTii. the 
Mecklenburg Committee again put upon record the following 
resolutions : 

Whereas, by an address presented t<> His Majesty l>y l»>ih Houses of Par- 
liament, in February last, the American Colonies are declared to I"- in a state 
.it' actual rebellion, we conceive that all laws and commissions confirmed by or 
derived from the authority of the King and Parliament, are annulled and va- 
cated, and the former civil constitution of these colonic-, for tin- present wholly 
suspended : To provide in some decree for the exigencies of this county in the 
present alarming period, we deem it proper and necessary to pass the follow- 
ing resolves, viz: 

I. That all commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the < Crown 
to be exercised in these colonies, are null and void, and the < Constitution of each 
particular colony wholly suspended. 

II. That the Provincial Congress of each province, under the direction of 
the great Continental Congress, is invested with all legislative and executive 
powers within their respective provinces, and that no other legislative or ex- 
ecutive power does or can exUt at this time in any of these colonies. 

III. As all former laws are now suspended in this province, and the Con- 
gress has not yet provided others, we judge ii necessary for the better preser- 
vation of good order, to form certain rules and regulations for the internal 
j..\ ernment of this county, until laws shall be provided for us by < Congress 

IV. That the inhabitants of this county do meet on a certain day appointed 
by the committee, and having formed themselves into nine companies to-wil : 

eight for the County and one for the town |, do choose a < Colonel and other mili- 
tary officers, who >hall hold and exercise their several powers by virtue of the 
choice, and independent of the Crown of Great Britain, and former Constitu- 
tion of this province'. 

not renounce the King and his agents on Ma\ 20th, they certainly did on the 

:;ist. What then can he the wisdom of doubting the veracity of so many un- 
impeachable witnesses, w ho deposed to the fad of the < Convention and its work. 
These men were not only patriots hut were greatly revered for the rectitude 
"i their lives. That they should concocl a cunningly devised fable or mistake 
the dale of the transaction, is alike improbable and impossible, when it is r< - 
membered that before the loss of the original paper, a copy was -cut to Gen- 
eral Davie and is yet preserved. 

lings of < Committee. 


V. That for the better preservation of the peace and administration of jus- 
tice, each of those companies do choose from their own body two discreel free- 
holders, who shall be empowered each by himself, and singly to decide and 
determine all matters of controversy arising within said company, under the 

sum of twenty shillings, and jointly and together all controversies under the 
sum of forty shillings, yet so as their decisions may admit of appeal to the 
convention of the selectmen of the county, and also thai any one of these men 
shall have power to examine and commit to confinement persons accused of 
petit larceny. 

VI. That those two selectmen thus chosen do jointly and together choose 
from the body of their particular company two persons to acl as constables, 
who may assist them in the execution of their office. 

VII. That upon the complaint of any persons to either of these selectmen 
he do issue his warrant directed to the constable, commanding him to bring 
the aggressor before him to answer said complaint. 

VIII. That these eighteen selectmen thus appointed do meet every third 
Thursday in January, April. July and October, at the court-house in < lharlotte, 
to hear and determine all matters of controversy for sum- exceeding fortj 
shillings, also appeals; and in case of felony to commit the persons convicted 
thereof to close confinement until the Provincial Congress shall provide and 
establish laws and modes of proceeding in all such cases. 

IX. That these eighteen select-men thus convened do choose a clerk, to re- 
cord the transactions of said convention, and that said clerk, upon the appli- 
cation of any person aggrieved, do issue his warrant to any of the constables 
of the company to which the offender belongs, directing said constable to Mun- 
ition and warn said offender to appear before said convention at their next 
sitting, to answer the aforesaid complaint. 

X. That any person making complaint, upon oath to the clerk, or any mem- 
ber of the convention, that lie has reason to suspect that any person or persons 
indebted to him in a sum above forty shillings intend clandestinely to with- 
draw from the county without paying the debt, the clerk or such member 
shall issue his warrant to the constable, commanding him to take said person 
or persons into safe custody until the next sitting of the convention. 

XI. That when a debtor for a sum above forty shillings >hall abscond and 
leave the county, the warrant granted as aforesaid shall extend to any goods 
or chattels of said debtor as may he found, and such goods or chattels he 
seized and held in custody by the constable for the space of thirty .lays, in 
which time, if the debtor fail to return and discharge the debt, the constable 
shall return the warrant to one of the selectmen of the company, where the 
goods are found, who shall issue orders to the constable to sell such a part of 
said goods as shall amount to the sum due. 

That when the debt exceeds forty shillings, the return shall he made t" the 
convention, who shall issue orders for sale. 

XII. That all receivers and collectors of quit-rents, public and county taxec 
do pay the same into the hands of the chairman of this committee, t" he bj 


them disbursed as the public exigencies may require, and that Buch receivers 
and collectors proceed no Further in their office until they !><• approved of by, 
mid have given to tliis committee good and sufficient Becurity for a faithful 
return of Buch moneys when collected. 

XIII. That the committee be accountable to the county for the application 
of all moneys received from Buch public officers. 

XIV. That all these officers hold their commissions during the pleasure of 

their several constituents. 

XV. That this committee will sustain all damages to all or any of their 
officers thus appointed, and thus acting, on account of their obedience and 

conformity to these rules. 

XVI. That whatever person shall hereafter renin- a commission from tin Grown, 
or attempt to exercise any such commission hereto/on nr, iml, shall Ih deemed an 
enemy to hie country ; and upon confirmation being made to the captain of the 
company in which he resides, the said company shall cause him to be appre- 
hended and conveyed before two selectmen, who. upon proof of the fact, shall 
commit said offender to safe custody, until the next Bitting of the committee, 
who shall deal with him as prudence may direct. 

XVII. That any person refusing to yield obedience to the above rule- 
shall be considered equally criminal, and liable to the same punishment as the 
offenders above last mentioned. 

XVIII. That these resolves be in full force and virtue until instructions 
from the Provincial Congress regulating the jurisprudence of the province shall 
provide otherwise, or the legislative body of Great Britain resign its unjust 
and arbitrary pretensions with respect to America. 

XIX. That the eight militia companies in this county provide themselves 
with proper arms and accoutrements, and hold themselves in readiness to exe- 
cute the commands and directions of the General Congress of this province 
and this committee. 

XX. That the committee appoint Colonel Thomas Polk and I >r. Joseph 
Kennedy to purchase three hundred pounds of powder, six hundred pounds of 
lead, and one thousand flint-, for the use of the militia of this county, and deposit 
the same in such place as the committee may hereafter direct. 

Perhaps in the history of the world do civilized community 
ever occupied so anomalous a position as was -ecu in the Limits 
of North Carolina. After the flight of (lovrnior Martin there 
was n<» semblance of authority left in the province. Such men 
as John Sunt of Granville and Rev. William McKenzieof the 
same county, applied t<> liim for vacant places as Register and Rec- 
tor, luit do court was open for the dispatch of business and the work 
of maintaining order was entirely in the hands of the different 


County Committee's of Safety. The Whigs were ceaselessly at 
work in forming these bodies and in procuring the signatures 
and support of the people to associations as they were called. 
These combinations contained written pledges of union in resistr 
ing the armed enforcement of British supremacy and their 
purport and end were patent in the paper which became famous as 
the "Cumberland Association." This document was really first 
adopted at Wilmington, on June 19th, and was furnished to the 
men at Cross Creek.* It was as follows: 

The actual commencement of hostilities against the Continent, by the British 

troops, in the bloody scene en the 19th of April last, near Boston, the increase 
of arbitrary impositions from a wicked and despotic Ministry, and the dread of 
instigated insurrections in the colonies, are causes sufficient to drive an op- 
pressed people to the use of arms. We, therefore, the subscribers, of Cumber- 
land county, holding ourselves bound by the most sacred of all obligation-, 
the duty of good citizens towards an injured country, and thoroughly convinced 
that, under our distressed circumstances, we shall be justified in resisting 
force by force, do unite ourselves under every tie of religion and honor, and 
associate as a band in her defence against every foe, hereby solemnly enga- 
ging, that whenever our Continental or Provincial Councils shall decree it 
necessary, we will go forth and be ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes to 
secure her freedom and safety. This obligation to continue in full force 
until a reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and America, 
upon constitutional principles, an event we most ardently desire ; and we will 
hold all those persons inimical to the liberty of the colonies, who shall refuse 
to subscribe to this association; and we will in all things follow the advice of 
our General Committee respecting the purposes aforesaid, the preservation of 
peace and good order, and the safety of individual and private property. 

As the summer progressed there were frequent rumors of cer- 
tain influences at work for evil among the Scotch Highlanders 
on the Upper Cape Fear. Donald McDonald, Allen Mil kmald 
and Donald McLeod, all officers of experience in the British 
army, and two of them participants in the battle of Bunker 
Hill, had passed through New-Bern, avowing their purpose of 
peaceful settlement in Cumberland county. Tiny had thus 
eluded the vigilance of Richard Cogdell and the Committee of 

♦Proceedings of Wilmington Committee, page :>M. 


Safety, and were now in communication with Governor Martin. 
Rumors came to Wilmington of their hostile movements. The 
secrets sent by other committees to the keeping of Farqu- 
hard Campbell and others who had signed the association, were 
divulged, and much indignation followed. Allen McDonald 
was written to by the Wilmington Committee and steps at one 
taken to break up the Governor's means of communication with 
such malcontents. On -lulv loth, Colonel James Moore moved 
with a body of* troops to effect the capture of Fori Johnston. 9 

These men were joined by others commanded by ( !ol I John 

Ashe, and under the command of the latter the fortification was 
captured and burned, t 

With the advent of June, a great calamity befell North ( 'aro- 
lina and the American people. This was the death of Colonel 
John Harvey, at his home in Harvey's Xeck, in "Perquimans 
county.| With the flight of the Governor from New-Bern 
ended the great struggle between the tribune of the people and 
the living embodiment of English aggression. The tense nerve- 
relaxed, and the heart which had so long sustained a failing bod} . 
soon eeased to beat, wdien the whole nation had been aroused to 
oceupy the position of resistance, for which he had perilled so 
much in his efforts for the last two years. It is impossible to 
overestimate his services in producing union and strength amid 
tin' Whigs of North Carolina. His illustrious descent, large 
wealth, long service, and, above all, his iron resolution, made him 
a leader whose place could not have been supplied in thosedays, 
when irresolution and delay would have been SO fatal. The 
Congress at New-Bern had well seen that his days were num- 
bered, and it had been provided that in case of his death. Samuel 
Johnston of Chowan, should have power to summon another 

meeting of the delegates whenever, in hi.- opinion, such a Step 

was accessary. 

Governor Martin, from his floating refuge in Cape Fear River, 
was ceaseless in his efforts to stir up the Royalists to his support. 

Proceedings of Committee, page \0. f Wheeler, vol. II, page 10. 

; Iredell's Life. p.i L ,- ■_'.... 


The Committees of Safety for districts, towns and counties, 
were active and vigilant and soon detected the fugitive Governor 
in schemes of vengeance. Not onlv were the Scotch High- 
landers and Regulators to be embodied under the royal standard, 
but the negro slaves were promised freedom as a reward for insur- 
rection and murder of their disloyal masters! A plan for the 
massacre of the white people was disclosed to Thomas Respess 
of Beaufort county, by one of his slaves, and by timely arrests 
the scheme was nipped in the bud and abundant proofs found of 
a bloody intent on the part of Martin and his abettors. 

Messrs. Caswell, Hooper and Hewes, joined the Continental 
Congress in its session, which began at Philadelphia, May lpth, 
1775. Georgia joined in this body, but Canada failed to accept 
the invitation extended to that people. June 18th saw Gen- 
eral Washington made commander of the American forces, but 
ere he readied Boston, on the 18th, occurred the bloody and well- 
contested battle of Bunker Hill.* 

One of the first objects of attention on the part of the Hills- 
boro Congress, was the condition of the men still known as Reg- 
ulators. In the struggle now on hand, they had been told by 
the agents of Governor Martin that it was incumbent on them 
to stand by the King, and that unless they did so, they would be 

*Note. — The Old North State, thrilled and indignant at the news fr Lex- 
ington, at once proceeded to arm for battle. A congress was called, and met 
in Hillsboro, on the 21st of August. This body had been summoned by 
Samuel Johnston of Chowan, who, by the death of Colonel .John Harvey, 
became the acting-Executive of the Province, and he was selected as Presi- 

General Washington so occupied theattention of the enemy in the northern 
States that almost theirwhole available force was kept in his front. < rovernor 
Martin, in impotent rage, from his refuge on the British vessel, denounced 
the Congress at Hillsboro as one of the "black artifices of falsehood and sedi- 
tion," and they, in turn, resolved thai his proclamation "was a false, scurrilous, 
malicious and seditious libel," and directed it to be burned by the common 
hangman. f 

t Wheeler, vol. I, page 11. 



held liable for their conducl in 1771 and punished accordingly. 
Thirteen members of Congress were appointed to oonfer with 
these people :in<l remove if possible, their scruples arising from 
the oaths Governor Tryon bad forced them to take, and to pro- 
cure their hearty accession to the American cause. The asso- 
ciation agreed upon at Philadelphia the year before, was again 
warmly endorsed and recommended to the people. The mem- 
bers also signed a test, in which they professed loyalty t<> the 
King, their regard for the constitutional government <>i' the 
empire and their resolute convictions that neither King nor Par- 
liament had the right t<> impose taxes upon America or to inn r- 
fere in any way in its internal policy. That all attempts, whether 
by force <»r fraud, to carry out such claims of power, were viola- 
tion- of the peace and security of America and oughl to be re- 
sisted to the utmost. That North Carolina was hound by the 
acts of the General Congress and would support it- decrees to 
the extent of all their power. An address was prepared and 
published for the benefit of the people, in which the merits of the 
great controversy were set forth and explained for popular com- 
prehension. It was also resolved that North Carolina would 
cheerfully pay a proper proportion of the burden incurred in 
support of a Continental army. The plan of a general con- 
federation of all the colonics, which had Keen proposed and 
advocated l>v Hooper and others, was considered premature, and 
the delegates at Philadelphia were instructed not to agree to any 
such step until further instructions. This was dictated by a lin- 
gering hope mi the part of Johnston and others, of accommoda- 
tion of the issues dividing the colonies and the mother-countn . I 
Hills of credit, to the amount of one hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars, were directed to he emitted; and their redemption pro- 
vided for in a poll-tax to begin in 1777. Five districts were 
created lot- military division and a battalion of live hundred men 
ordered to he raised in each. In the Edenton l>i>trict. Edward 

Martin, vol. [I, page 362. [-Martin, vol. [I, page 364. 



Vail was made Colonel, Richard Caswell in thai of New-Bern, 
Alexander Lillington in that of Wilmington, Thomas Wade in 

the West and Nicholas Long in the Halifax division. By order, 
William Hooper prepared an address to the people of the British 

Empire, which was worthy of the genius and culture of that dis- 
tinguished patriot. It vindicated the conduct of the American 
people and reminded others that the preservation of their liber- 
ties was only to be achieved by vigilant resistance' to the firs! en- 
croachments of Great Britain. 

A provisional government was created by < longress, at the head 
of which was placed Cornelius Harnett of New Hanover. This 
cultivated and wealthy citizen had been prominent in North 
Carolina for half a century past. He was one of Governor 
Burrington's Council as early as 17:}0.* Josiah Quincey called 
him the "Samuel Adams of North Carolina."! He was a stern 

and devoted patriot, and was to seal his faith with his bl 1. 

His associate in the Wilmington District was Samuel Ashe, a 
brother of Colonel John Ashe and the second son of John Bap- 
tiste Ashe. In the New-Bern District, the Councillors were Abner 
Nash and James Coor; in that of Eden ton, Thomas Jones and 
Whitmel Hill; in that of Halifax, Thomas Eaton and William 
Jones; in Hillsboro District, Thomas Person and John Kinchen, 
and at Salisbury, Samuel Spencer and Waightstill Avery, This 
Provincial Council was to be the executive power of the new 
commonwealth. The hope of arrangement with Great Britain 
was manifested in all the legislation of the period : everything 
was provisional and temporary. If Parliament would recede from 
its hard incursious upon what had been regarded as li\e<| rights 
and rules, then North Carolina would again submit to the control 
of His Majesty; otherwise it was determined that the province 
should bravely wage war, with the assistance of the sister com- 
munities, until indemnity for the pas! and security for the future 
were obtained. With the exception of the Provincial Council 

*Burrington's dispatches to the Board of Trade. 
fJosiah Quincey, Jr., Memoirs, page 115. 


just mentioned, there was no efforl at civil organization. The 
military aspect was the controlling feature of the time, and to 
the promotion of efficiency in thai respecl were the chief efforts 
of the Congress directed. The >i\ battalions of minute men 
already mentioned as apportioned to the military districts, were 
tn be liable to such service as their commanders thought neces- 
sary. In every county the militia were enrolled and drilled 
and liable to any service the Provincial Council might direct, 
and in addition to all these, were the t\v«> regiments of Conti- 
nentals enlisted for the war.* 

Serious trouble was soon found to be brewing among the Reg- 
ulators and Highlanders. James Hunter, who had been nominal 
commander of the insurgents at Alamance, was threatening to 
lead a thousand men to Hillsboro for the purpose of interrupting 
i he sitting of the . Congress. f Emissaries were seen passing to 
the Seidell settlements of Cumberland, and Farquhard ( Jampbell, 
one of their delegates, was subjected to investigation for certain 
evidences of intimacy with Governor Martin. The Whigs were 
often merciless in their efforts to convert men of Tory principles, 
and tar and feather- were too often used upon their opponents 
when moral suasion and kindness were far more appropriate. 
But these were violent and strenuous times. Governor Martin 
denounced as traitors, the men who were striving for America. 
and it cannot be wondered at, that they were impatient with the 
misguided Royalists. 

Mr. Harnett entered upon the duties of his office, as President 
<>f the Provincial Council, on the 18th of October. His first 
act was to commission John and Samuel Ashe for the settlement 
of a disturbance in New Hanover. The Committees of Safety 
for Edenton and New-Bern were directed to procure for each 
place an armed vessel. 

Jones' I defence, page 220. 

f Life of I it . lil I, vol. I. page 261; Samuel Johnston t<> Iredell. August 
nil., I::".. 


Two battalions of five hundred men cadi, were ordered to be 
raised and were soon in the field.* These Continental troops 
were enlisted for the war, and followed it.- varying fortunes un- 
til peaee restored the few survivors t<> their homes. James 
Moore of New Hanoverf was appointed Colonel of the firsl 
battalion and Robert Howe of Brunswick, of the second. 

In the month of December, Colonel Howe, with the second 
North Carolina Continentals and a militia battalion commanded 
by Colonel Benjamin Wynns, marched for Norfolk, Virginia.;] 

Governor Dun more, of Virginia, with a small force of British 
regulars, was at Norfolk, where he was striving to collect an 
army. His emissaries were secretly traversing the Albemarle 
retnon of our State and seeking to incite the -laves to insurrec- 
tion. His lordship having received notice of General Howe's 
approach, seized and fortified a strong position at Great Bridge 
on the Elizabeth River. Colonel Woodford, with the second 
Virginia regiment and the Culpepper Riflemen, confronted him 
and intrenched themselves on the opposite side of the stream. 
On the 9th of December, the British, under Colonel Leslie, as- 
saulted their position. The enemy were bravely led by Captain 
Fordyce, but were driven back with the loss of sixty men.§ 

+Note. — Colonel James Moore was the brother of Judge Maurice Moore 

and son of General Maurice Moore of Cape Fear. He was a gallant ami 
skillful soldier and abundantly justified his appointment to the first regiment 

raised in North Carolina. 

JNote. — One of the best and truest of Hertford's citizens was at that time 
an aid-de-camp of Golonel Howe and went upon this expedition. Tin- was 
young Godwin Cotton of Mulberry Grove. Like his Ton- kin-man. Colonel 
James Cotton of Rowan, he was the surveyor of his county, ami volunteered 
to meet a great danger then threatening hi- household. He was the youn 
of Captain Arthur Cotton's children and lived at tin- old homestead above St 
John's. Some now living can ren\ember the gentleness and modesty of this 
excellent man. He survived the war lor many years, and was the la-t of his 
name in Hertford. He had no sons, hut left two daughters, who were belles 
and beauties of their dav. 

*\Vheeler, vol. I, page 71. 

^Bancroft, vol. VIII. page 227; .Mar-hall'- Lite of Washington. 


( lolonel I [owe arrived on the 1 1th and ton in 1 the enemy with- 
drawn to Norfolk, lie lirii)(_r tlic ranking officer, assumed thr 
command and speedily expelled Lord Dunmore and his forces 
from tlic Old Dominion. 

About the same time that Colonel Howe moved with the 2d 
North Carolina Continental Battalion against Lord Dunmore, 
another important expedition was organized in Western North 
Carolina. In the upper portion of South Carolina, certain 
loyalists, called Scovilites, had arrayed a considerable body of 
men in arms for the King. These were making great headway 
against the Whigcause. < lolonels < Jriffitb Rutherford of Rowan. 
Thomas Polkof Mecklenburg, and James Martin of Guilford, 
on hearing of this movement, promptly assembled the militia of 
their counties and, midst great hardships from unprecedented 
snow Bfborms, having joined (icneral Richardson and Colonel 
Thompson commanding the South Carolina Whig force.-, they 
besieged the Tory commanders, Cunningham and Fletchall, at 
Ninety-Six. The Royalists attempted a retreat hut were over- 
taken and defeated. Besides the dead, there were four hundred 
of the Scovilites taken prisoners and the royal cause lor the time 
being was utterly prostrated in the Palmetto State/ 

The expulsion of Lord Dunmore from Norfolk was a greal 
relief to the Albemarle country of North Carolina. A servile 
insurrection, aided by British forces, would have been a terrible 
calamity. < lolonel Benjamin Wynns soon returned with his bat- 
talion and the people rejoiced in the thought of danger being 
averted. ( 'olonel Robert I [owe and his compeer, < lolonel James 
Moore, were both made Brigadier-Generals in the Continental 
army soon after this time and wire officers of equal bravery 
and merit. '^ The second North Carolina battalion, upon the 
promotion of General 1 1 owe. passed to the com maud of (olonel 

Alexander Martin of Guilford. He was of [rish extraction 

Governor Graham's New York Letter, page 152; Simms' History of South 
i arolina, pape L93. 

; Win ■ ler, veil. 1 1. page W. 


and was t<> become the recipient of great and varied civil honors 
in the course of hi> long public service. He was liberally edu- 
cated and added literary to his military and political habits. 

There had been symptoms of coming trouble for some months 
amid the Scotch settlements on the ( 'ape Fear. I >onald Mel >on- 
ald, Donald McLeod and Alan McDonald, the husband of the 
famous Flora, who had so bravely aided the escape of Prince 
Charles Edward in 1746, were all active agents in creatine a 
spirit of British loyalty among their countrymen in Cumberland 
and the surrounding counties. McLeod had participated in the 
battle of Bunker Hill and had been wounded. Alan McDon- 
ald had received the King's orders for raising the royal standard 
the year before. t He and his noble wife had come to America 
with a view of restoring their fortunes and were of great inllu- 
ence over the unfortunate people, whose presence in North ( faro- 
lina was the result of their brave devotion totheexiled Stuart-.: 
A romantic idea of obligation to the Hanoverian Kings, who had 
so cruelly treated them, caused them to listen to the appeals of 
Governor Martin's emissaries. Their devotion to any cause they 
felt it their duty to uphold, had long been illustrated in their na- 
tive land and now again in a quarrel not their own, they were 
dragged to the front as victims of fresh misfortunes. 

Governor Martin had been so tireless in his efforts and so ex- 
tensive in his promises of Tory recruit-, that the counsels and 
wishes of General Howe, the British Generalissimo, had been 
over-ruled and a great expedition planned for an attack upon 
North Carolina, instead of the force- going to New York, as 
he had desired. § Sir Henry Clinton was on his way from 
Xew York to assume command of the expedition, with the 
British ships-of-war Mercury and King-Fisher and three ten- 
ders, on which were four companies of troops. Lord William 
Campbell, in the Syren, was expected from South Carolina. Sir 
Peter Parker was coming from Port-mouth with two frigates, 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 182. it. vol. VIII. 

{Wheeler, vol. II, page 127. gBancroft, vol. VIII, pag( 282 


eight sloops, a schooner and a bomb-ketch, with Beven regiments 
aboard, under the command of Lord Cornwallis.* To thisfor- 
tnidable armament, Alexander McLean bad led Governor Mar- 
tin to believe, that at leasl three thousand Carolina Royalists 
would be added. To meet thi> army of veterans there were 
mi American soldiers that had ever seen service, except per- 
haps a few who had been in the brief Alamance campaign in 
1771 against the Regulators. ColouelJames Moore's first North 
Carolina Continental battalion were the only drilled troops in 
North Carolina belonging to the patriot cause. The outlook 
was ominous enough.f 

(luvernor Martin* had reason to believe the royal armament 
would reach the Cape Fear by the latter part of January; soon 
the loth day of that month he signed commissions for Alan 

+Note. — Reference lias already been made in preceding pages to t!i<- sing 
lar position Governor Martin was holding in North Carolina from the time of 
his flight from New-Bern in L775, until the last of that year. His own con- 
duct, like that of King .James II., solved many troublesome and confusing 
dilemmas. The Whigs would have found no pretext for disturbing him had 
lie remained quietly in his Palace. As late a-- August, when the Congress 
at Hillsboro ordered tin- restoration ><{' his coach and horses, he was -till as- 
sured by that body of his safety from molestation it' he saw lit to return to 
New-Bern. lie was living aboard thearmed sloop-of-wair, Qruiser. Thecrew 
<if that vcs-c'l had been regularly provided with food from Wilmington until 
February 5th, when the Committee of Safety -hut off their supplies becauBeof 
the Ouiser'* bombardment of Colonel James Moore's force, then in position 
along the Brunswick sin >re of the Cape Fear River. On January 27th, Gov- 
ernor Martin asked permission to convene His Majesty's Council for North 
Carolina aboard the Cruiser, but this was refused and His Excellency was told 
that if he attempted to reach the Tories of < Sumberland he would be arrested 
for bo doing, if captured on the way It seems that up t" that date, he 
was everywhere, "in of Mecklenburg county, still recognized as the Governor 
of the Province and continued to issue commissions for civil and ecclesiastical 
officers. Colonel John Ashe had set the example of resigning military rank 
conferred by Governor Martin ami was followed bj all the Whig officers, but 
in other respects the King's authority still received a shon of respect in the 
functions exercised bj the Governor from his strange seat of government. 

pernor Swain's Lecture, page 120. fWheeler, vol. 1. page 79. 


McDonald of Kingsborough and eight others of the Scotchmen 
in Cumberland and Anson and several others in different conn- 
ties, to raise and array all the Royalists in reach and march them 
to the vicinity of Fort Johnston in Brunswick county.* Donald 
McDonald, then sixty-five years old, who had been at Culloden 
thirty years before and was a veteran officer of equal cour- 
age and experience, was made a Brigadier-General and put in 
command of the Tory levies. t Their first point of rendezvous 
was at Cross Hill in the immediate vicinity of the present vil- 
lage of Carthage in Moore county.J Here they awaited the 
promised coming of the Scotch and Regulators from the western 
counties. Xot many of the latter came and these were from 
Rowan and the Yadkin country. In a few days the men who 
had collected moved eastward and occupied Cross Creek" on the 
('ape Fear River. William Campbell, Xeill McArthur and 
Donald McLeod had summoned the Highlanders to meet at that 
point on February 5th. § The Scotch, who could not rely upon 
more than seven hundred of their number to take the field, were 
anxious for enough delay in the proposed movements to allow 
the arrival and co-operation of the coming British armament. 
The Regulators, under Colonel James Cotton and others, num- 
bering five hundred men already present, asserted that their num- 
bers would soon be swelled to five thousand, and prevailed in their 
demand for an immediate rising. The Highlanders were thus 
over-ruled and with that brave determination which had been so 
often witnessed in the history of their elans, were started for 
Wilmington and camped at a point on the west side of the river, 
four miles below the present city of Fayetteville. 

On the same day, February 19th, Colonel James Moore, who 
with the first North Carolina Continental battalion had taken 
the field to oppose this up-rising, was re-inforced at Efcockfish, 
.-even miles below, by Colonel Alexander Lillington, who cam'' at 
the head of one hundred and fifty Wilmington minute-men, 

^Governor Swain's Lecture, page 121. fWheeler, vol. 1. page 76. 
JCaruthers' Old North State, page 62. ^Bancroft, vol. VIII, page 284. 


204 HISTORY I 'I NORTH < IROLIN \. 1776 

Colonel Kenan with two hundred 1 > ti j > 1 i 1 1 militia and Captain 
John B. Ashe with one hundred <>i' the Volunteer-Independent 
Rangers. With this force and live pieces of artillery, he awaited 
the coming of Whig levies, which he knew were hastening to 
the rescue from all quarters. Colonel .lame- Martin, with a 
large Whig force, was on hi- way from < ruilford. ( lolonel James 
Thackston, with others, was approaching from the southwest. 
Colonel Richard Caswell, with eight hundred men, was hastening 
from New-Bern. f Moore was anxious to attack the Royalists, 
hut as they numbered nearly two thousand men. while his own 
force in hand was hut eleven hundred, he deemed it impru- 
dent, and awaited the course of events in his intrenched camp. 

( >u February 19th, General McDonald paraded his army with 
a view of storming his foes at Rockfish, hut he discovered that 
the numbers and position of the Whigs forbade the hopeof suc- 
cess and he abandoned the project. The mere prospect of batt !• 
lost him two companies of Cotton'- Corps, who that night de- 
serted with their arm.-. lie, however, sent Donald Morrison 
with a flag and a proclamation of Governor Martin, and called 
upon Moore and the troop- in his command to join the King's 
standard or he considered as enemies and traitors. Colonel 
Moore at once replied that " neither his duty nor inclination per- 
mitted him to accept term- 80 incompatible with American free- 
dom." The Scotch officer was asked not to array his deluded 
people against men who were so fully resolved to risk every- 
thing in defence of their own and the liberties of mankind. 
" You declare sentiments of revolt, hostility and rebellion to the 
King," replied McDonald ; "as a soldier in His Majesty's service 
it i- my duty to conquer, if I cannot reclaim all those who may 
be hardy enough to take up arm- against the best of masters." 

The Royalisl commander, having learned of the approach of 
Caswell from the east, became aware of the danger of hi> con- 
dition and at once resolved to evade the force at Rockfish and 

'Colonel Moore to Barnett, March 2nd, 1776. 

i Bancroft, vol. VII, page 285. 

(Donald McDonald's Letter to James Moore, February 20th, 1 T 7 « '. . 


crush the re-inforcements coming to their aid. Before setting <»ut. 
he earnestly appealed to the men in his command to l>e faithful 
to the royal standard entrusted to their keeping, and expressed 
scorn of "the base cravens who had deserted the nighl before." 
He enquired if there were any of the faint-hearted left and said 
if they were not resolved to conquer or die, then was the time 
for such to declare themselves. This speech was answered by a 
general shout for the King, but again twenty of Cotton's men 
laid down their arms. General McDonald marched hi> army, 
not quite two thousand men in number, back to Campbellton 
and that night crossed the river in boats, which they sunk and 
then sent forward an advance party to South River, fifteen miles 
eastward. This latter stream was reached and passed by the 
main bodv on the 12 1 sr in its march for Wilmington. 

In the meanwhile, Moore had sent Lillington and Ajshe with 
orders for them to join Caswell, or if that could not be effected 
to occupy Moore's Creek bridge. The latter alternative was 
adopted as the only one possible, and they took position on 
the 25th. As the Highlanders and Regulators approached 
Caswell, that able officer at once divined their purpose of -attack- 
ing him and changed his course to intercept their march at a 
point where his inferior numbers could have the advantage of 
position. On the 2.3rd, McDonald made his preparations for 
attack but his wary antagonist was already across the stream at 
Corbett's Ferry and had removed all means of crossing from the 
reach of the Tories, f This was on Black River and the Royal- 
ists had to ascend six miles to a point where -a negro procure, I 
them a boat which had been sunk. McLean and Fraser w 
left with a few men there to deceive Caswell, while the main 
body crossed at the point now spanned by Newkirk Bridge. On 
the afternoon of February 20th, Colonel Caswell, with hiseighl 
hundred minute-men, joined the two hundred and fifty, whom 
Lillington had already posted on Moore's Creek.:] He raised a 

Bancroft, vol. VIII, page 286. fBancroft, vol. VIII. page 286. 

tJoiies' iM'riH-e. page "J 1'.'. 


-mall breast-work on the west side and removed a portion of the 
bridge and awaited the approach of the Loyalists, whom he knew 
to l><' <>nly .-i\ miles away. A messenger came into his camp on 
the pretext <>f demanding his surrender Inn really to discover 
his position. Be informed the Tories that Caswell was on the 
same side of the stream with them, and the resolution to attack 
at day-break of the following day was at once formed.* Felix 
Kenan at once went with this information to ('aswell, who now 
that he had deceived the enemy as to his position, was found on 
the easl side of the stream, with nothing of the bridge left bul 
two girders.f The fires were left burning on the wesl side and 
the enemy were completely deluded as to the true position of 
the force they were to encounter. Two piece- of artillery were 
so placed as to rake the bridge and then in slighl field-works 
and behind trees, the brave Carolinians, who knew so little of 
the military art, awaited the onset of men, whose broad-swords 
had so often changed the fortunes of war on the European 

General Donald McDonald was sick and unable to move on 
the morning of the 27th, but he well knew the dauntless cour- 
age and experience of Colonel Donald McLeod and committed 
to his lead the attack which was so unanimously agreed upon.J 
\ot more than a thousand men hastily gathered from the conn- 
tie- of New Hanover, Craven, Johnston, Dobbs and Wake were 
to face the assault of almost twice their aumber. The attack 
was to l>e led by eighty picked broad-swords-men, who as a for- 
lorn hope were to rush forward and break the ranks of the un- 
disciplined Americans.*; 

At one o'clock on the morning of the '_'7th of February, the 
Loyalists set out from their camp, bul so much time was consumed 
in passing a swamp that it was about one hour to daylighl when 
they arrived at the deserted camp occupied by Caswell on the 

< olonel Moore's Letter to Harnett. tBancroft, vol. VIII, page 287. 
•.I. .n.-' Defence, p:ige _'!'.'. J Bancroft, vol. VIII,, \>;ix<- 288. 


preceding evening. They entered the field in three columns, 
but finding their adroit opponent had deceived them and was on 

the other side of the stream, they deployed into line of battleunder 
the concealment of the trees. They were now less than twenty 
miles from Wilmington and knew that safety could only be 
achieved in beating the men who were before them to bar their 
way to deliverance. The rallying cry agreed upon, was " King 
George and broad-swords." The signal for attack was three 
eheers, the long-roll on the drums and the shrill call to arm- by 
the bag-pipes. It was still dark when McLeod at the head of 
the picked men with their terrible claymores, was challenged by 
the sentries at the bridge with the cry of "who ^iis there." "A 
friend," answered the fearless Scot. "'A friend of whom'.'" 
"To the King." Upon this the sentinels bent over with their 
faces toward the ground. McLeod then challenged them in 
Gaelic, thinking- they might be men of Ills own party who had 
erossed the stream, but as no answer came, he fired his gun and 
ordered those with him to fire.* Nothing of the bridge was 
available for passage but the two logs which were used as 
sleepers. Across these Donald McLeod and John Campbell now 
led the way and succeeded in crossing. The Highlanders with 
their broad-swords were shot down as they crowded upon the two 
fatal logs, which now were but a road to certain death. Colonel 
McLeod already mortally wounded in many places, still arose 
each time as he was shot down and cheered on his men to the 
attack. At least twenty-six balls had stricken him ere the daunt- 
less man, who had borne a charmed life in so many battles since 
Culloden, fell dead on the field. Campbell too had fallen with 
every one of the storming party who had ventured across tie 
bridge. As the repulsed Loyalists grew doubtful of the result, 
Captain Ezekiel Slocum, of what was afterward Wayne county, 
led a daring attack upon their left flank. He had crossed with- 
out orders and with his single company created an instant panic 

♦Bancroft, vol. VIII, page 2SS. 


among the disheartened men whose leaders were lost on the fatal 
bridg* . ( 'as well and Lillington assumed the offensive and soon 
the whole forces of the Highlanders and Regulators were in a 
terrified retreat from the field of their over-throw.f 

General McDonald, who was sick eight miles away from the 
scene of the action, the next day was captured as w< re Alan Mc- 
Donald and his son. These were senl to Halifax and from thai 
point to Reading, in Pennsylvania. Thirteen wagons with their 
teams of horses, eighteen hundred stand of arms, one hundred 
and fifty swords, two medicine chests and seventy-five thousand 
dollars in gold were the fruits of this important battle, besides 
more than eight hundred prisoners. Thirty of the Royalists 
were slain, while but one Whig, private John Grady of Duplin, 
met with a similar fate.J Two others were wounded. 

Caswell, Lillinoton and Ashe, all gained great credit for 
the success at Moore's Creek, but to Colonel dames Moore was 
due the real honor of the campaign. But for him, not a man 
had been there. He had dispatched Lillington and A-he from 
Rockfish while there. 1 was yet time for intercepting the flight of 
the Highlanders and this order had made possible the brilliant 
victory of the Whigs. His early death deprived General Moore 
of much fame as a military commander. 

The -Tory spirit was for a time most effectually crashed in 
North Carolina. Some who had raised men and marched to- 
ward the rendezvous too late to join in the expedition, hearing 
of the disaster, disbanded and went to their home-. Governor 
Martin's astonishment may he imagined when he heard that 

' Note. Mrs. Ellett, in her " Women >>t' the Revolution," has made ■> pleas- 
ant story of Mrs. Slocnra's adventure on hone-back to the scene of the contest 
above described. A dream led her to venture alone i li r< mirli that dangerous 
nighl in the rescue of her husband and thus embalm her uame in a deathless 
i-i m 1:1 hi e. sin- was tin' Bister of < 'harlea Hooks, who was in after years to be- 
come a member of the United States Contrress. 

: Life of Iredell, vol. I. page 272. 
fCaruthere' Old North State, page 115. 


nearly ten thousand Whigs had so promptly taken the field 
against the insurrection and invasion he had so laboriously plot- 
ted.* Of all the great force he had promised the King from 

the Loyalists, less than two thousand could be induced to take 
anus, and these had been completely defeated by a force but little 
more than half their number. The cool strategy of Richard 
Caswell had drawn the veteran McLeod into a trap, in which the 
conjoined bravery of* Lillingtonf ami Ashe had been most con- 
spicuously manifested, as were also the coolness and intrepidity of 
the troops they led. 

In addition to the captures already mentioned, on the retreat 
of the Tories from Moore's Creek, Farquhard Campbell and 
Thomas Rutherford of Cumberland were likewise arrested and 
sent to Halifax jail. They had participated in all the Con- 
gresses of North Carolina, and though constantly suspected of 
traitorous schemes, had hitherto eluded detection. They had 
joined the association for non- intercourse with Great Britain and 
were parties to the indignities heaped upon Thomas McKnight 
of Currituck, at New-Bern in the preceding year, but their trea- 
son was now too plain for further concealment and they disap- 
peared from the public stations they had occupied and disgraced. 

Great earnestness and zeal were now observable in upholding 
the Whig cause in every part of North Carolina. In less than 
a fortnight, upon the report of an up-rising among the Scot- and 
Regulators and an invasion abroad, nine thousand, four hundred 
men had been put in the field and the British armament in the 
Cape Fear inspired no terror. Colonel Moon- disarmed all who 
were suspected in the back country and the proffered aid from 

tNote. — Colonel Lillington was the grandson of tin- Major Alexander Lil- 
lington wIki was President <>t' the Council in early provincial times. He wa- 

thus the kinsman of the Swanns, Ashes, M -e's ami Moseleys, an. I was a 

wealthy ami elegant gentleman. John BaptisteAshe was the son of Governor 
Samuel Ashe. 

*Governor Swain's Lecture mi the Campaign of 1776. 
{Governor Swain's Lecture, page 113. 

210 IllsioKY OF NORTH CAROLINA. 1776 

Virginia and South ( 'an. linn was declined, as the force in hand 
was abundant for resistance against incursions from Bruns- 
wick i" the interior. Governor Martin had promised ten thou- 
sand recruits t<> the royal cause and muskets for such a force 
were brought over by Sir Peter Parker from England, but nol 
a single company of Royalists wereou hand to receive the arms.* 
The people of the Albemarle region were now in complete re- 
pose so far as any immediate apprehension of danger was con- 
cerned. The defeat attending the efforts of both Lord Dunmon 
and Governor Martin inspired great confidence in the American 
cause. Colonel Benjamin Wynns was still commanding the 
militia with which he made the Norfolk expedition in company 
with Colonel Howe. Matthias Brickell was Lieutenant-Colonel 
and Day Ridley, Major in the same command. Thomas Brickell, 
the eldest son of Colonel Matt. Brickell, was this year sent by 
the Provincial Congress, along with General Allen Jones of 
Northampton, to confer with the Virginia authorities as to such 
conjoined operations a- might seem necessary, f 

■{■Note.— Colonel Matthias Brickell had, besides Thomas Brickell men- 
tioned in the text, other sons who were to become public servants. < >ne of 
his daughters had married Major John Brown of Cnttawiskey Marsh, who 
was ;i disabled officer of the I'.ritisli Army on half pay, and ;i Royalist. Cap- 
tain Hardy Murfree of the second North Carolina Continental battalion had 
married another, who was the mother of William II. Murfree and Matthias 
Brickell Murfree, so well known in after times. Colonel Matthias Brickell died 
in advanced age amid a popularity he had long enjoyed. He was one of the 
( !ouncil for the whole province created by the Hillsboro < tongresa and was also 
one of the Edenton Committee of Safety. 

^Bancroft, vol. VIII, page 290. 
| M.-ntin. vol. 1 1. page 385. 



A . I>. 1 7 7i; TO 17 77. 

Separation from England and Independence gradually demanded by all the 
Whigs of North Carolina -Samuel Johnston's conservatism -Caswell and 
Willie Jones — Halifax Congress and its members— Committee of April 
8th — Their famous report on the L 2th, and Resolution of Independence —Gen- 
eral Donald McDonald, Alan McDonald and his wife, Flora— First issue 
of funds — Sir Henry Clinton's armament in the Cape Fear — General Moore 
re-inforced — General Charles Lee — Seaports authorized to arm a vessel 
each — Six Brigadiers to command in the military districts of North Caro- 
lina — State Council of Safety — The Conservatives ousted -New delegates I" 
the General Congress — Clinton abondons the Cape Fear — Four new Conti- 
nental battalions ordered — Attack upon Charleston— Cherokee murders in 
the West — General Rutherford's Over Hill expedition -Council >>( Safety 
celebrate the National Declaration of Independence — October elections — 
Schemes for a new government of North Carolina— Convention to form a 
Constitution meets in Halifax — Leading members — 15ill of rights and Con- 
stitution — Governor Caswell and other officers of the new State Origin of 
the Thirty-second Article — Judge Howard — Daniel Boone 

The war of the Revolution had been in progress for almost a 
year, when the month of April dawned upon the straggling 
American people. General Washington had driven the British 
troops from Boston and though the expedition t<> Canada had 
failed, there was abundant compensation in the deliverance of 
North Carolina and Virginia from the recent serious movements 
against their integrity. Enough had been accomplished to shoM 
the power of a people aroused to the vindication of their rights 
and the hour was rapidly approaching for their deliverance from 
the palsying effects of a continued expression of allegiance to 
the Kino-. George III. desired above all earthly boons, their 
early and complete subjugation, and endorsed to the letter every 
claim of power uttered by Parliament.* Be scorned their claims 

*Bancroft, vol. VIII, page 132. 


of equality of rights with Englishmen, and was deaf to every pe- 
tition and remonstrance sent over to gain hie favor. North 
( arolina had been largely influenced up to this time by the views 
and advice of Samuel Johnston of Chowan. Be was recce- 
nized as a man of great wisdom and purity of life and had been 
conspicuous in the public councils ever since the days of Gov- 
ernor Duhli.-. His devotion to the cause of America was beyond 
all question. Hi> large wraith, political and legal experience, 
and above all, hi> great moderation of view- made him a moral 
Pharos to the bewildered minds of a people, who in the black- 
ness and uncertainty of the night, wire anxious for any beacon 
to guide them to safety and deliverance. Samuel Johnston was 
the embodiment of what most men ever esteem true wisdom. 
He was devoid of originality and that quality of mind called 
genius. lie was disturbed and confounded by the great inno- 
vations "ii established ideas of human government, which the 
prophetic and creative mind of Thomas Jefferson was so rapidly 
formulating and impressing upon the American people. Richard 
( laswell wa> the companion of th<' great Virginian at the sessions 
of the Continental Congress, and he and Willie Jones wire fully 
convinced of the truth and utility of the annoying paradoxes 
as they thin seemed, enunciated by one who was to leave his 
impress on all future ago, by the creation of a new and advanced 
human polity. 

Johnston was a churchman and an aristocrat. He had small 
patience with dissenters and utterly scorned the proposition, that 
the masses were capable of self-government.f He had all along 
hoped for reconciliation with the Crown. A year before, at 
Hillsboro, when William Hooper had so eloquently advocated 
the formation of a confederation of the colonic-, he it was who 
put aside the movement, bo necessary to the smallest chance of 
effective co-operation. He hoped againsl hope, that the stubborn- 
est of Kings would relent and at last listen tu the cries of his 

*Jones' Defence, page 273. 

i-S:iiiim< I Johnston's Letter to James [redell, April 29th, ITTii. 


people. That he was patriotic and true is beyond all question, 
but that he had become a dead weight upon progress is equally 

apparent. Hooper and Jones and the men of Mecklenburg had 
been clamoring for independence Cor a whole year of blood, and 
yet North Carolina was kept almost without the Bemblance of a 
government. Harnett and his co-adjutors of the Provincial 
Council were only a source from which issued military orders 
and commissions, while not a court-house was open in North 
Carolina for the transaction of any business or repression of 
crime. This state of affairs could not be longer continued with 
the people's consent. Public sentiment plainly demanded une- 
quivocal denial of allegiance to the King and the creation of 
regular government for the State. 

Moderator Johnston issued a call for the fourth Provincial 
Congress and that body met in Halifax on the 4th day of April, 
1770. On motion of the distinguished member for Northamp- 
ton, Allen Jones, Samuel Johnston was again unanimously called 
to preside over the assemblage. The venerable John Campbell. 
ex-Speaker of the House of Assembly and still a Leading man 
of North Carolina, went from Bertie in this, the last Near of his 
service. He was to die at advanced age in the next year. John 
Johnston, a brother of the Moderator, with Charles Jacocks, were 
his colleagues. John Penn of Granville, was making his first 
appearance in public and soon became conspicuous in the debates. 
It was the habit to mingle offices in a strange manner in those 
days. Thus we find that Cornelius Harnett, the virtual Gov- 
ernor, was the delegate for Wilmington, while < laswell, Hooper 
and Hewes were also members, though North Carolina's dele- 
gates to the Continental Congress at the same time. Hert- 
ford sent Robert Sumner, Colonel Matthias Brickell and Major 
Lawrence Baker as herdelegates to this body. Mr. Sumner livi «1 
at St. Johns and was a man of large wealth and influence in l>i- 
day. He was to continue long in the public service and was of 
aristocratic habits and devoted to high-church principles." 

•Note. — John Penn was also a member. \\<- was from Caroline county, 

Virginia, and had been the friend and neighbor <>f Edmund Pendleton. II. 


The question of independence was up]>ermo8l in all minds. 
April 8th a committee composed of Cornelius Harnett, Allen 
.Junes, Thomas Jones, Abner Nash, Thomas Burke,* John Kin- 
chen and Thomas Person were appointed to consider and report 
upon the conduct of the King and the British Parliament; and 
four days later, through Harnett, submitted the following result 
of their deliberations, written l>v the Chairman :f 

[t appeals to your committee, that pursuant to the plan concerted by tbe 
British Ministry for subjugating America, the King and Parliament of Great 
Britain have usurped a power over the persons and properties of the people 
unlimited and uncontrolled, and disregarding their humble petitions for peaee, 
liberty and safety, have made divers legislative nets denouncing war, famine 
and every Bpecies of calamity againsl ilie Continent in general. The British 
fleets and armies have been, and still are, daily employed in destroying the 
people and committing the most horrid devastations on the country. The 
( rovernors in different colonies have declared protection to slaves, who should 
imbrue their hands in the blood of their masters. The ships belonging !<• 
America are declared prizes of war, and many of them have been violently 
seized and confiscated. In consequence of all of which, multitudes of the 
people have been destroyed, or from easy circumstances reduced to the most 
lamentable distress. And whereas, the moderation hitherto manifested by the 
United Colonies, and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother- 
country on constitutional principles, have procured no mitigation of the afore- 
said wrongs and usurpations, and no hopes remain of obtaining redress by 

those means alone which have hitherto been tried, — Your committee are of 

opinion that the House should enter into the following resolves, to-wit: 

Resolved, That the delegates of this colony in the Continental Congress be 
impowered to concur with the delegates of other colonies in declaring indepen- 
dence, and forming foreign alliances, reserving to this colony tbesole and exclusive 
right for forming a Constitution and laws for this colony and of appointing 

was a la«y<r and a man of decided parts. He lived only about twelve years 

alter his arrival in North Carolina in 177 1. but W8B greatly honored in his 
brief Btay in our limit-. 

*Note. — Thomas Burke lived at at Hillsboro, where he practiced law ami 

charmed every one with his wit and learning. He was a brave and versatile 

Irishman who combined the excellences and some of the infirmities of his 


Mfllies' I Menee. [laL'e l'"> 1 . 


delegates from time to time (under the direction of a general representation 
thereof) to meel the delegates of the other colonies, for BHch purposes as may 
be hereafter pointed out.* 

History is full of noble resolutions and deeds, but in all hu- 
man chronicles there exists no more splendid monument of reso- 
lute and advanced patriotism than this modest record of the 
North Carolina Congress of 177<>. To understand its full force 
and significance, it must be remembered that before this memora- 
ble 12th day of April, with the single exception of the Meck- 
lenburg Declaration, there had not been in all America an in- 
stance of a public expression of the least desire for separation 
from Britain. John Adams, George Wythe and Christopher 
Gadsden might all urge the necessity of an open declaration of 
independence; still they were hut individuals, and had not yet 
induced a single one of their constituencies to conn- up to that 
high mark of devoted bravery and patriotism. Doubting Dick- 
insons yet chained the resolution of the Continental Congress 
and the Assemblies of all the provinces. Virginia was to wait 
for more than a month before reaching such a determination^ 
and then was to be followed at an equal interval by other com- 
munities. North Carolina, with Sir Henry Clinton and his 
powerful armament still in her waters, was not longer to he de- 
terred in her high resolution, and thus, in advance of all 
America, proclaimed to the world her solemn determination to 
be free and independent.^ 

Donald McDonald, the commander of the defeated Royalists, 
was still in confinement at Halifax. With him were also Alan 
McDonald of Kingsborough, and his son. By order of Con- 
gress these men were paroled and delivered from their irksome 
confinement in a common jail. Alan McDonald and his famous 
wife soon sorrowfully returned to their native heath-. They 

* Journal of the Congress, pages 1 1 and 12. 
t Bancroft, vol. VIII, page 385. 
{Bancroft, vol. VIII, page ■'*■">->. 


bad lost everythiDg in their adhesion to the King, arid Flora 
remarked that she had tried the service of both the Souses of 

Stuart and Hanover and had prospered by neither. In their 
voyage across the Atlantic, the ship in which they -aih-d encoun- 
tered a French frigate and a battle at sea ensued. Mrs. Mc- 
Donald remained on deck to witness the engagement and cheer 
the men in resistance, and had h<r aim broken as a reward for 
her bravery.' 

In addition to the million dollars of North Carolina currency 
which had been previously emitted, five hundred thousand in 
addition were ordered to be signed and issued by William Hay- 
wood,f John Webb, William Williams and David Sumner. J 
Counterfeits of these issues were soon abundant, and the only 
mean.- of distinguishing the difference, was said to lie in the 
superior execution of the spurious hills. $ It is not to he won- 
dered at, that such a medium of exchange should have speedily 
depreciated in value. It- descendent qualities knew no arrest 
in its course and finally, as a public blessing, its very worth h — 
ness procured its destruction and the State was not embarrassed 
with claims for its redemption.. 

General Clinton, with an armament now increased to thirty- 
six ships and a large military force, was -till in the lower waters 
of Cape Fear River. General James Moore was there with bis 
forces lately engaged at Moore's Creek, and the first North Caro- 
lina Battalion, to watch and repel the movements of the eiieniv . 

I>ut larger force was needed and Congress ordered two battalions 

fWilliam Haywood of Edgecombe, noticed above, was the bod of thai 
.John Haywood before mentioned as being prominent in the times of Gov- 
ernors Gabriel Johnston ami Arthur I>ulil>s. lit was a useful and patriotic 
member of Assembly and ( lolonel of the militia both during the Latter years 

of royal government and the progress of th<' Revolution. He was b g I 

Rnancii r and extremely effectn e in laborious work as a committee-man in the 
General Assembly. The large Haywood connection <>( Raleigh are bis 

Wheeler, vol. II. page 127. Martin, vol. II. page 386. 

Jones' Defence, page 255. ||Jones, page 255. 


of seven hundred and fifty men each to his aid. One of tin- 
was under the lead of Colonel Thomas Owen of Bladen and the 
other in charge of Colonel Thomas Baton of Bute, now Warren. 
General Charles Lee had been recently appointed by Congress 
to the command of all the Southern forces, and passed Halifax 
on his way to Brunswick, lie had been an officer of the British 
army, and was rash, intriguing, and full of the lightesl vani- 
ties.! Without religion or patriotism, he was a mere adven- 
turer, who had imposed his folly as generosity upon the ( !onti- 
nental Congress, and was next in command to General Wash- 

The seaports were authorized to arm, at public expense, one or 
more vessels for each town, and commissions of marque and re- 
prisal were framed for their benefit. § On May 5th, fresh addi- 
tions were made to the articles of war and a higher discipline 
provided for troops of North Carolina and the enrolled militia. 
Six officers, one for each of the military district.-, were appointed 
Brigadier-Generals: John Ashe lor Wilmington, Allen Jones 
for Halifax, Edward Yail for Edenton, Griffith Rutherford for 
Salisbury, Thomas Person for Hillsborough, and William Bryan 
for the New-Bern District. Generals Jones, Vail, Bryan and 
Ashe were instructed to hasten re-inforcements to General -lames 
Moore at Wilmington, and General Ashe was ordered to assume 
command of the detachments as they reported lor duty. 

As soon as the independence of the colonies had been resolved 
on by the Halifax Congress, it was the next day determined to 
enter upon the formation of a regular State government. This 

Note. — Colonel Owen was the father of Governor John Owen ami General 
James Owen of Wilmington. IK- was a brave, generous ami kindly man. 
His wife was sister of the gallant Major Porterfield, who fell at Camden, South 
Carolina. lie was to be all important in his disaffected region. Colonel 
Eaton was a man of wealth, ami was the ancestor of William Eaton, lair Attor- 

fJones, page 256. | Bancroft, vol. VIII, pages -J7 ami 28. 

gjones, page 256. 


occurred on April 13th, 177<i. On the L'Tih of the same 
month, resolutions were reported as the foundation for :i constitu- 
tion, and these were debated. Three days later it was deter- 
mined to postpone the matter until it was laid before the people 
in a fresh election, a- a greal difference of view- was developed 
as to the character of the institutions to be framed. A nev 
coin in it tec was Darned "to form a temporary form of government 
until the end of the next Congress." On May lltli. the com- 
mittee reported a scheme abolishing the Provincial ( !ouncil and 
the District Committees of Safety and substituting a State 
Council of Safety. Tins change grew oul of altered feelings in 
the body of the Congress against some of the most prominent 
men in North Carolina. Samuel Johnston and General Allen 
Jones were especially obnoxious to the leaders of the extreme 
Republicans for their lingering fondness f<>r monarchical 
forms and precedents. t The old order of thine.- was to lie up- 
rooted to reach and destroy the influence of these two ni<n. who 
had so formidably obstructed the march of events for the last 
twelve month-. A.ccordingly, in the new State Council of 
Safety, they were both left out. Willie .lone- was first selected 
a- chief; hut upon his appointment by the Continental Congress 
as Indian Commissioner, Cornelius Harnett was continued as 
acting-Executive. Samuel Ashe, James Coor, John Simpson, 
Thomas Eaton. Joseph J. Williams, Thomas Person. John Rand, 
Elezekiah Alexander and William Sharpe were his colleagues, 
[n the deliberations of this important body, as in the case of 
its predecessor, the votes were by districts; each one of which 

WaS entitled t0 one Vote.! 

Colonel Caswell bad resigned hi> place in the Continental 
Congress upon his election as Treasurer of the Southern District. 
John l'eiin of Granville, William Hooper and Joseph Hewes, 

were -elected a- the North Carolina delegates and the body 

Journal of the Congress fJones Defence, pag< 258 

Jones' I tefence, page 258. 

1776. SIE HENRY'S CH \N<;K OF BASE. 219 

adjourned on May 14th, having been in session for five weeks. 

Sir Henry Clinton, upon the arrival of Sir Peter Parker's 
fleet bearing the seven regiments commanded by Lord Cornwallis, 
found his own predictions of the folly of the whole expedition 
fully justified. His fleet was watched day and night by the 
forces under General Moore, and the prospect before him if 
he landed, was a bloody battle and consequent want of all 
supplies needed by an army on a march. The only flesh he 
could furnish his men was that of horses, and he soon resolved 
on leaving the Cape Fear River. Before doing this, however, 
a party of seven hundred men was sent to ravage the plantation 
of General Robert Howe, who, in a proclamation then issued was, 
save Cornelius Harnett, the only man in North Carolina ex- 
cepted from pardon in the event of submission to the govern- 
ment of the King. Such was the strictness of the watch kepi 
upon the ships, that Governor Martin could hold no intercourse 
with the Tories of the interior, so the anchors were weighed, 
and on June 1st, the great fleet of thirty-six sail went out past 
Smith's Island and steered for South Carolina.* 

Four new Continental regiments had been ordered by the 
Halifax Congress and were soon in the field. t These troops were 
enlisted for the war and were placed al the disposal of the Gen- 
eral Congress. They were then officered as follows: First Regi- 
ment, Colonel Francis Nash, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Clark, 
Major William Davis; Second, Colonel Alexander Martin, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel John Patton, Major John White; Third, Colonel 
Jethro Sumner, Lieutenant-Colonel William All-ton. Major 
Samuel Lockhart;| Fourth, Colonel Thomas Polk, Lieutenant- 

JNote. — Into the Third Regiment went Hertford county's second company 
of Continental troops. They were commanded by Captain Aimer Perry of 
St. John's, wliu was to lead them with bravery and credit until the end of the 
war. He lived <mi Ahoskie Swamp, where his son, the late Abner J. Perry, 

died. Ik- was a large man, of great, g 1 humor and popularity and was 

several times dangerously wounded in the progress of the war. 

'Jones' Defence, page 263. : Wheeler, vol. II. page 7'.'. 

28 " 


Colonel James Thackston, Major William Davidson; Fifth, 
Colonel Edward Buncombe, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Irwin. 
Major Levi Dawson ; Sixth, ( !olonel Alexander Lillington, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel William Taylor. Major Gideon Lamb.* 

With the sailing of the British fleet for Charleston, all dang 
from any immediate attack by the enemy was gone, and General 
Lee at once transferred the First and Second North ( larolina Conti- 
nental Battalions to that scene of danger."} General Moore went 
in command of the brigade; General .John Ashe likewise, with 
the militia leviesthal had reported to him, was ordered to the same 
destination. They reached Charleston on June 11th. ( )n the 
2Xth the Iiritish fleet attacked Fort Moultrie. In the glorious 
defence of that work, two hundred of Colonel Clark'- North 
Carolina militia participated; being posted with Thompson and 
Horry on the same island..]; The North Carolina Continentals 
were kept on the mainland near the city, and looked on as the 
heroic Moultrie for ten hours gave hack the fire of a great fleet 
and finally drove the ships, shattered, from the conflict. General 
Lee was warm in his commendations of the North Carolina Con- 
tinentals, and in his report of the action, remarked "I know not 
which corps I have the greatest reason to be pleased with, Mugh- 
lenburg's Virginians or the North Carolina troops. They are 
both equally alert, zealous and Bpirited." 

On the \ciy <k\y of the British attack upon Charleston, a great 
calamity fell upon the western settlements. § King George III. 

fNoTE. — The reader will observe that both tin- terms " regiment " and " bat- 
talion" arc used in the text to designate the same bodies of men. When the 
commands of Colonels Moore and Howe were first organized in L775, they were 
called the First and Second Regiments of North Carolina Continentals, but 
fur purposes of exchange of prisoners in the relative grades of English ami 
American officers captured, ' reneral Washington directed that they should be 
called and recoguized as battalions. They numbered g< oerally about eight 
hundred men and contained ten companies, with the field and staff officers of 
what we now call a regimeut. 

Wheeler, vol. I. page 81. Bancroft, vol. VI [1. page 402. 

{Governor Swain's Lecture, page 11'.'. 


and his agent, Josiah Martin, lm<l been unceasing in their efforts 
to arouse the Indians against the rebellious colonies. Lord 
Chatham had denounced this horrid policy with all the strength 
of his vehement nature, but could not alter the resolute cruelt} 
of the young monarch. He had been told that savages were 
only dangerous to the defenceless women and children of remote 
settlements, and were powerless before the trained soldiers who 
were now so often beating his own armies. The Blue Ridge Moun- 
tains were at this time the dividing line between the Cherokee 
hunting grounds and the white settlements. The tribe was 
said by Colonel Drayton, to then contain above two thousand 
warriors. John Stuart was the royal agent who had dwelt among 
them and attained a great ascendency in their councils.* Alex- 
ander Cameron was his deputy, and they were both connections 
of the men so recently over-thrown at Moore's Creek. An inter- 
cepted letter from Cameron to General Gage had disclosed the 
fact that he was willing to lead down the red men on any errand 
the tyrant of Boston might require. But these things had been 
disregarded until the butchery first began on June 5th. In a 
few days, more than two hundred white people were slain by tin 
Indians, and then arose the cry for vengeance. f 

In the early days of July, General Griffith Rutherford had as- 
sembled and prepared for the field an effective force of twenty- 
four hundred men, raised in his own military district of Salisbury. 
This bold and honest patriot was born in Ireland and had been 
for years in prominent positions, both in the provincial and revo- 
lutionary councils. He was-- lacking in culture 1hj4- possessed a 
rugged good sense and a spirit that was dauntless in his resolve 
for freedom. Colonel James Martin of Guilford and Colonel 
Thomas Polk of Mecklenburg commanded regiment.- from An- 
son, Rowan and Mecklenburg, and then' wasanother from ( >rai 
The expedition passed the mountains at Swannanoa (lap and 
passed down the beautiful French Broad, crossing that stream at 
War-Ford. Then alone the valley of Hominy Creek, across 

( rovernor Swain's Lectin-.', page 1 1 ( .'. fWheeh r, vol. II. page 383. 


Pigeon River they passed on to the Tuckasege. Prom thai point 
they went over Cowee Mountain and reached Tennessee River. 
Here they were in the heart of the Cherokee paradise and soon 
the Indian towns of Watauga, Estoetoe and Ellagay were 
burned and their corn fields destroyed.* Here they were joined 
by the Smith Carolina expedition under General William- 
son, who had recently been in battle with the Cherokees, in 
which they were fearfully punished. General Rutherford lost 
only three men. but he completely subdued the savages and used 
the flocks of cattle as an effectual means of destruction to the 
growing crops. Having completed its work, the army returned 
and was disbanded at Salisbury, in October* Rev. Dr. James 
Hall, afterwards of Iredell county, went as Chaplain to the 
forces. | 

On the first day <>i* August the Council of Safety convened at 
Halifax in solemn form for celebrating a memorable event in 
American history. The resolution of the independence of the 
colonies had been first formally introduced in the Continental 
Congress on the 7th of June.J It passed the House on duly 
2nd, and the formal declaration was signed and published two 
days later, ddie news of this great event reached Halifax on the 

tNoTE. — Simms' History of South Carolina L r iws an account of the battle 
between General Williamson and the Cherokees. This affair resulted in the 
loss of thirteen nun killed and thirty wounded annum the South Carolinians. 
The savages and Whigs were each twelve hundred strong, bul Williamson 
was taken at disadvantage, from the fact thai lie had fallen into an ambuscade. 
With a most singalar oblivion, Mr. SimmB makes do mention <>t Rutherford's 
army, which was just twice as large as that el' South Carolina. As the battle 
and campaign were almost wholly in North Carolina, it would seem that both 
truth and good taste would have suggested the propriety of some reference t<> 

the gallanl Rutherford and his < imand; but he makes it a matter of State 

pride to ignore or delaine the North Carolinians who went to the rescue of the 
Palmetto State in the hours of her calamity. 

*Martin, vol. II. page 393. fJones' Defence, page 264. 

; Martin, vol. II. page 393; Bancroft, vol. VIII, page 389. 

1776 THE DECLAB \TI<>.\. 223 

22nd,* and the Council being in session at that place, it was at 
once unanimously resolved "That the Committees of the differ- 
ent counties and towns in this State, on receiving the Decla- 
ration of Independence, tin cause the same to he proclaimed in 
the most solemn manner, in order that the good people of this 
colony may he fully informed thereof." ( )n July 25th, tiny had 
changed the previous test-oath, and the preamble of the resolu- 
tion stated that the colonies were become free and independent 
States. Two days later the Council set apart August 1st a- a day 
for proclaiming the Declaration at the court-house in Halifax, 
and the surrounding people were requested to he presenl to at- 
tend the ceremonies. Accordingly, amid military displays and 
a vast assemblage of applauding people, Cornelius Harnett, at 
mid-day ascended the rostrum before the court-house, and even 
as he began to open the scroll containing such memorable word-, 
the great concourse broke into tumultuous acclamation. Then 
to the crowd, who listened in silence, the great protest against 
wrong, and appeal to the God of battles, was read till its conclud- 
ing and sublime pledges were reached, and then again went up 
the shouts of the redeemed and delighted people, who were cele- 
brating the consummation of a purpose, that had been first 
proposed to the American people on the very same spot, where 
now was such patriotic joy. Mr. Harnett was borne in tri- 
umph on the shoulders of the delighted soldiers, who honored 
him as the champion of American liberty, while they swore 
eternal fealty to the august instrument he had read in their hear- 
ing- 1 

The suggestions of the Council of Safety as to reading the Dec- 
laration of Independence, were observed everywhere in North 
Carolina with the single exception of Cumberland. Orders 
were accordingly issued to Colonels Folsome and David Smith, 
commanding the militia in that county, and the ceremony 
was repeated also at Cross Creek. A .-ingle regiment was yet 

-Jones, page 268. 

fJones' Defence, page 269; Wheeler, vol. I. page 83. 

224 IHSl'oiiY OF NORTH CAROLINA. 1776. 

kept al this point to observe the motions of the disaffected, who 
had been mosl unconscionably worried by this same Ebenezer 
Folsome and his troopers. John Pyle of Chatham, and Far- 
quhard Campbell of Cumberland-, were Mill leaders of the 
malcontents :ui<l were the objects of his vigilance and occasional 
arrest.* This active and unsparing partizan carried bis authority 
beyond it> proper limits and soon incurred the penalty of a 
court-martial for disobedience to orders. 

During October,the elections were held for members of the 
Convention that was soon to meet for the formation of a 
new government for North Carolina. Two distinct ami an- 
tagonistic parties were developed, which struggled lor ascen- 
dency to lie determined at the polls on tin' loth day of that 
important month in the State's history. Samuel Johnston and 
his friends were anxious for the establishment of a splendid sys- 
tem, which should be possessed of great powers of repression 
and should rest authority largely in the hands of the enlightened 
few, who had been for two years past so largely influential in 
shaping the destinies of the infant common wealth, f Willie 
Jones of I lalifax, was almost fiercely opposed to any such scheme. 
He was the avowed champion of the masses, and though an 
aristocrat in his habits and associations, was still theoretically 
the most radical politician then of prominence in the State. 
Colonel Caswell sympathized with such views, but was wary 
and moderate in expression and went not to such lengths as were 
habitual with Jones and < reneral Thomas P< rson.J It was thought 
important by many of the extreme Republicans, to defeat Samuel 
Johnston as a member from ( 'how an. Tiny dreaded the influence 

of hi- known opinions and the people of that county were warned 
against hi- aristocratic tendi ocies, until for once in their history 
they faltered in hi- support.§ The same influence had procured 
his removal from the Council of Safety, and of all his former 
honor- he retained only the Northern Treasurer's place. ( Jonsid- 

Jones, page 267. tJ° ne8 j l' :1 -'' 274. 

lell's Life, vol. I. page 834. I ' : oi [redell, vol. I. page 334. 


ering his great services, this was thought harsh ami ungrateful 
treatment, ami his friends were loud in their complaints at the 
result; but Johnston was too wise and pure a man to quarrel 
with the people for disagreeing with his views, and was soon t" 
have abundant proofs of the attachment and confidence of the 
whole State. 

The Congress or Convention to frame a State Constitution, met 
in Halifax, November 12th. Among the memorable men of 
this body, the most prominent was Richard Caswell of Dobbs, 
who, upon motion of General Allen Jones of Northampton, was 
made President. General Thomas Wade of Anson, .John John- 
ston and Zedekiah Stone of Bertie, Judge Maurice .Moore, Cor- 
nelius Harnett and Archibald Maclaine of Brunswick, General 
Thomas Eaton and Philemon Hawkins of Bute, James Coor, 
General William Bryan and Colonel -John Bryan of Craven, 
Thomas Benbury and Thomas Jones of Chowan, William Hay- 
wood and Elisha Battle of Edgeeombe, General Thomas Person 
and Memucan Hunt of Granville, General Lawrence Baker and 
Day Ridley of Hertford, John Phiferand Waightstill Avery of 
Mecklenburg, William Williams and Whitmel Hill of Martin, 
John and Samuel Ashe, John Devane and SampsoD Moseley of 
New Hanover, Thomas Burke and Alexander Mebane of < >range. 
Dr. David Caldwell of Guilford, William Hooper of Wilmington, 
Dempsey Burgess and Lemuel Sawyer of Pasquotank, General 
Griffith Rutherford of Rowan, Joseph Hewes of Edenton, Abner 
Nash of Hillsboro are still of historic prominence and were as 
wise and patriotic as could have been gathered into any assembly 
in any land.* 

On the second day of the session, a committee consisting of 
President Caswell and Messrs. Person, Allen Jones, John Ashe, 
Nash, Willie Jones, Thomas Jones, Bright, Neale, Samuel Ashe, 
Haywood, Rutherford, Abbot, Luke Sumner, T. Respess, .Mac- 
laine, Hogan and Alexander, were appointed to form and lay 
before the body a Constitution and Bill of Rights for the gov- 

*Wheeler, vol. I, page 86. 


eminent of the State, Messrs. Hewes, Harnett, Sharpe, Spear, 
Avery, Eaton, Birdsong, Irwin Hill, ami ( !oor, were subse- 
quently added, it was decided on the same day thai all ques- 
tions before the Convention should be decided by voice ami not 
by counties or t"\\ qs. 

Samuel Johnston, though oot a member of the Convention, 
was present at Halifax, and his views were -till represented 
through hi- friend, Thomas Jones of Chowan,t who with Col- 
onel Caswell, gave tone and direction to the whole proceedings. 
There is little <l<>ul>t that the President was the real creator of 
the wise ami lasting provisions of the first ( institution of North 
( 'arulina.l; He was unquestionably the ablest ami most original 
mind in the entire body, ami possessed an ascendency over his 
cotemporaries which made him through life the most influential 
man in the State.§ Both the Bill of Rights and the Constitu- 
tion were reported, debated and passed in the period embraced 
between the 6th of December and the lNth of that month. 
Thomas Burke of Orange, was conspicuous both in suggestion 
and analysis. He was eloquent, learned and devoted to the 
cause. Like Harnett, John Ashe and the venerable Maurice 
Moore, he was -oon to retire from the political arena, but with 
the exception of John Penn of Granville, no man ever won bo 
lasting a hold upon the affections of our people in so short a 

|Note. —Joseph Seawell Jones, en page '_' s 7 of his " I defence of North < !aro- 
lina." says thai Thomas and Willie Jones were the main authors of the Halifax 
Constitution; but he was far from being reliable in liis statements, and to 
habitual depreciation of Caswell and his party he added a great desire to exalt 
the name of Jones. Willie Jones was very able, but Thomas was a man of 
moderate abilities and drew inspiration fr Johnston. He was, i"". a trim- 
mer, like I.nnl Halifax, and was chiefly useful a- the medium of compromise 
between the extreme view- dividing the Convention. 

•I »' Defence, page 285. [Jones' Defence, page 287. 

JJudge Tin ir's Bpeech, 1 835 : 1 debates of tin- i lonvention, page 31 s . 

1776. BILL OF RIGHTS. 227 

The new organic law of the State created system oul of the 
preceding chaos. The executive functions were vested in a < rov- 
ernor and other officers. The law-making power was to rest 
in an Assembly, consisting of two separate Houses. The 
Senate was chosen by freeholders possessing fifty acres of 
land, while the House of Commons had for its electors 
the great mass of freemen who had resided in the State for 
twelve months anterior to the election. Each county elected 
a Senator and two members of the House of Commons. It 
was ordained that no salaried officer of the State or United 
States could have a seat in the Assembly; nor any preacher of 
the gospel, in care of souls. There should he no church estab- 
lishment, but religious freedom, without rates, tithes or any 
compulsory maintenance to ministers of any sect whatever. 
There should be no imprisonment for debt alter a lair surrender 
of a debtor's property. Immigrants swearing allegiance could 
acquire real and personal property and full franchises after one 
year's residence. Schools should be established by the Legisla- 
ture and education provided for the people.* 

The Bill of Rights declared that all political power is vested 
in and proceeds from the people. That the people of the State 
alone should regulate the police thereof. That no men were 
entitled to exclusive emoluments or privileges, but in considera- 
tion of public service. That the executive, legislative and 
judicial powers of government should be separate and distinct. 
That the Governor should have no power to suspend or dispense 
with laws without the consent of the people's representative-. 
That elections to the Legislature should be free. That in crimi- 
nal process every man was entitled to be informed of the charge 
against him and to be confronted with his accusers ; nor should 
he be compelled to give testimony against himself. That no 
freeman should be put to answer a charge but by indictment, 
presentment or impeachment; nor be convicted but by unani- 
mous verdict of a jury of his peer-. Thai there should no! be 

*Pnblie Acts, pages 194, 195 and 196. 



excessive bail required, nor heavy fines, or unusual punishment. 
There Bhould be no general search-warrants. No freeman should 
be amerced or disseized or others ise punished but by due process 
of law. That restraints on liberty of individuals should be 
investigated and removed when unlawful. That in controversies 
touching property and titles, the trial by jury should remain 
sacred and inviolable. That the public press should be free. 
That no taxes should be laid without the consent of the people 
or their representatives in the Assembly. That the people have 
the right to Wear arm- for defence of the State, as standing 
armies in time of peace are dangerous t<> liberty and that mili- 
tary should be kept subservient to civil power. The people 
have the right to assemble themselves for consultation, instruction 
to representatives and to apply for redress of grievance-. That 
men have the right t<» worship God according to their own con- 
sciences. That elections should be frequent. That all hereditary 
honors, privileges and emoluments are forbidden; as were also 
perpetuities and monopolies and ex post facto law-. 

All of these provisions were entirely admirable and in the 
enactment of the thirty-first provision of the Constitution, by 
which ministers in charge of congregation- were excluded from 
office, and its succeeding paragraph alone, was there found an 
absence of the broadest and most enlightened charity. Both of 
these obnoxious remnants of cruelty among the sects were the 
handiwork of an excellent and cultivated patriot. Rev. Dr. 
I >a\ id < aid well of ( i nil ford, did not think it was proper that men 

of his cloth should be"mixed-up" in politics, therefore he pre- 
vailed on the Convention to disqualify them. < mly twice in his 
exceeding long and useful life had he consented to serve as a 
statesman, when he died at the age of one hundred years. His 
professional zeal prompted him to do something for religion and 
he drew up and procured the passage of the following clause :f 

The Bill of Rights, Public A.cta, pages l'.'l. 192. 
[•Life of [redell, rol. I. page 339; Foote'a Sketch 240. 

1776. ARTICLE XXXII. 229 

No person who shall deny the being of < rod, or the truth of the Proti -taut 
religion, or the divine authority of either the Old or New Testament, or who 
shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of 
the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trusl or profit in 
the civil department, within this State.* 

A rigid construction of this section would have excluded 
Thomas Burke, one of* the chief ornaments of the very body 
that enacted it. He was a Roman Catholic and his case was 
pointed out in 1835 to show that it was not the intent ion t<> 
debar members of his church.f The great doctrine of relig- 
ious freedom was the hardest lesson of all to be learned in the 
development of the noble American polity. Roger William-. 
the pupil and j)rot?f/e of Sir Edward Coke in his conflicts with 
the intolerant Puritanism of Massachusetts, was the first man to 
proclaim it in America. I Lord Baltimore hail made Maryland 
an asylum, where no person professing the ( Jhristian religion was 
discriminated against;§ but John Calvin could have as effectually 
destroyed Servetus under such rule. A Roman [nquisition 
could have turned in mock mercy some victim over to the secular 
arm for punishment and death, for indulging in the now-fashion- 
able speculations of Darwin, Huxley and Herbert Spencer. 
William Penn had also established toleration of all religions at 
Philadelphia ; but out of the little territory of Rhode [sland, Dot 

: Xote. — To show how distasteful tlie .">lM Article was i" many members of 
the Convention, the following words are quoted from a letter of Samuel John- 
ston to Mrs. Hannah Iredell, dated Halifax, December 13th, 1 7 7 ' ', : "I was 
in hopes things were drawing near a conclusion, and that I should gel borne 
in a tew davs. lint unfortunately one of the members from tin- back country 
introduced a bill, by which every person, before he should !»• admitted t" a 
share in the Legislature, should swear that he believed in the Holy Trinity, 
and that the Scripture of the< >hl Testament was « ritten by divine inspiration. 
This was carried after a very warm debate, and ha- blown up such a flame 
that everything is in danger of being thrown into confusion." 

; Debates in Convention, 1835, page 319. 
^Bancroft, vol. I. page -">'. |s . 
{(Bancroft, vol. I. page 260. 


a human statute had recognized the truth, thai no political disa- 
bility should arise from tin' fad of any species of religious be- 
lief. In 1786, Thomas Jefferson was to incorporate it into the 
Virginia Constitution and he confessed thai he had been led to 
such a step by tin 1 teachings of men in his own Commonwealth, 
who wen- members of the same sect as thai of the founder of 
Rhode [sland. 

Richard Caswell was elected Governor of the State by an 
ordinance of the Convention, and entered upon the discharge of 
his duties upon the adjournment <>f this body, December 23rd. 
James Glasgow became Secretary of State.* Cornelius Harnett, 
General Thomas Person, Colonel William Dry, William Hay- 
wood, Edward Starkey, Colonel Joseph Leach, and General 
Thomas Eaton, were made members of the Council of State. 
Courts of Oyer ami Terminer for the trial of criminal can-—, 
were established, but the regular tribunals were created a year 
later. Sherifis, magistrates and constables were appointed under 
a separate ordinance and the County Courts were at once 
organized for probate and police purposes. A new Treasurer 
was elected in place of (invn'imi'l aswell for the Southern 1 >i>- 
trict, James ( oor of New-Bern, being selected tor that purpoa . : 

The course of the Episcopal clergymen and certain of the 
Colonial Governors had made that church unpopular with the 
hki-scs. who were dissenters ; but there was no objection urged 
to the ordinance introduced by Thomas done-, which secured the 
glebe land- and churches to the people of the late established 
church of the province.! There were bul few of them, and of 
that few, the incumbents of the living were generally recog- 
nized as adherents of the King in this struggle for life and death 

with the people. 

'Note. This man, who was so highly and frequently honored in the next 
r«\s years, was -i resident of New-Bern. Hi- name \\;i- given i" thai pari 
of Dobbs, now Greene county. When he fell into disgraceful malfeasance the 
second change was made. 

j-Poblic Acts, pag< L98. Jones' Defence, pages •_".'!. 292. 


There has never been seen a body of men who were more 
wholly devoted to the public good than those of the Halifax 
('(invention of 1776. Amid war and danger they initialed 
changes that were fundamental and numerous in a polity which 
had been that of their fathers for generations past. So wisely 
and warily did they lay the foundations of a regenerated society, 
that for fifty-nine years no change was effected in the result they 
had accomplished. A free people with abundant opportunities 
for alteration and adoption of improvements, abided by the work 
of their hands, until through sheer lapse of time and changes in 
the populated districts it became necessary to change the bases 
of representation. 

The old system of the courts was almost untouched in that 
time of great alteration in other things. A new Superior Court 
district was added, but otherwise things judicial remained as they 
were in the dispensation of Judges Martin Howard, Mau- 
rice Moore and Richard Henderson. Revolutions are always 
full of hatred and injustice. Judge Howard has come down to 
us as a wicked and corrupt man. Yet the men who differed 
from him politically, suffered him to remain in quiet on his farm 
in Craven, until he voluntarily left the State in 1777. Jeffrey, 
to whom he has been likened, got no such fare at the hands <>\ 
the London mob, when he was discovered in disguise alter the 
flight of James II. He was the ablest of all our colonial mag- 
istrates and doubtlessly honest in his loyalty to the King. On 
the eve of his departure, he thus wrote to Judge 1 redell : " Your 
favor from New-Bern gave me no small degree of pleasure. An 
instance of civility to an obscure man in the woods, is as flatter- 
ing as a compliment to a worn-out beauty, and received with 
equal avidity and delight. I have lately been so little accus- 
tomed, even to the courtesies of life, that a sentiment of kindness 
comes upon me by surprise, and brings with it a double and 
unexpected pleasure." 

Judge Richard Henderson, as has been already stated, took no 
part in the struggle between Great Britain and the colonies. 
With the expiration of the time to which the < \nirt Law- \\ 


limited, be, like his colleagues, Howard and Moore, found him- 
self fundus officio, from the fact that the courts had all ceased to 
i \i-t. His attention had been called to the reports given l>v 
I >:i 1 1 it ■ I Boone, of the beauty and fertility of the region lying 
south of the Ohio River. This fair land now comprising the 
territory of the State <»f Kentucky was claimed as their hunting 

■ ■ 

grounds by the < Iherokees. 1 1 suggested a grand scheme to Judge 
Henderson. He very well understood that under the royal 
claims he would not for a momenl be allowed to carry out his 
project of founding the " Republic of Transylvania," but the 
ex-Judge foresaw the confusion and possibilities of the near fu- 
ture. War, imminent and deadly, was patent to his keen vision. 
If the royal authority was overthrown, he had every expectation 
of ready acquiescence of the Revolutionary bodies and even in 
the event of American defeat, he hoped for British concession in 
-(I lawless a period. 

Moved by these considerations, in 1 774, he induced his cousin, 
John Williams, and Leonard Hendly Bullock of Granville, and 
William Johnston, James Hogg, John Luttrell, and Thomas, 
David, and Nathaniel Hart of Orange, to unite with him in the 
formation of a company. They met the Cherokee chief- on 
\\ atauga River and. for what some historians have called a " fair 
consideration," purchased their claim to the magnificent domain. 
which included what is now the larger portion of thegreat States 
of Tennesseeand Kentucky. Although the quid pro quo in this 
transaction is not given by the chroniclers, it may be safely 
classed with other similar transactions between white men and 
confiding savages. 

■ < 

Note. Major John Devereux nf Raleigh, gives me an authentic case 
in point. In the manuscript "t lii- ancestor, Governor Thomas Pollock. 
a treaty between the white people and a certain tribe is given, ft was there 
settled and "so nominated in the bond" thai no [Vidian should kill or maltreat 
a white person; nor injure his house, servants, or live-stock; that fences 
should be secured against disturbance; that runaway negroes and straying 
cuttle should be apprehended by the Indians and returned to their owners; 
and finally, that no Indian without solemn notice and permission given, should 
presume to venture into the vicinity of the \\ hite | pie who, in consideration 


Judge Henderson effected the Cherokee treaty of Watauga in 
1774. Upon the return of Governor Martin from his visil to 
New York in the spring of the following year. His Excellency 
issued a proclamation condemning with all his usual emphasis 
the whole scheme of Judge Henderson and his associates. 
"Whereas," said he, "it is to be apprehended, that if the said 
Richard Henderson is suffered to proceed in this, his unwarrant- 
able and lawless undertaking, a settlement may be formed that 
will become an asylum to the uaost abandoned fugitives from the 
several colonies, to the great molestation and injury of His Ma- 
jesty's subjects in this province in particular and to the manifesl 
detriment of the interest of Earl Granville, within whose pro- 
prietary district the lands treated for as aforesaid, by the said 
Richard Henderson with the Cherokee Indians are deemed and 
reported to be in part comprehended. I have thought proper to 
issue this proclamation hereby in His Majesty's name and also in 
behalf of the Earl Granville, as his agent and attorney, strictly 
to forbid the said Richard Henderson and his confederates, on 
pain of His Majesty's displeasure and of suffering the most 
rigorous penalties of the law, to prosecute so unlawful an under- 

Daniel Boone had really suggested and developed the whole 
Transylvania project. This famous character has Dot only be- 
come immortal in the gravest histories, but has long been a favor- 
ite figure for poets and romancers. He came to North < larolina 
with his parents from Pennsylvania while yeta child, and dwelt 
upon the upper reaches of Yadkin River, lib strong and sen- 
sitive nature loved the silence and suggestions of the forest. 
Though tenderly attached to his wife and family, his daring and 
romantic soul pined for the larger excitement to be found amid 
the mountain passes and wide-stretching prairie- of the West. 
Thus in constant danger, he was much of his time, far from the 
gentle offices of home and kindred, and only avoiding torture 

of such active aid and forbearance on the pari of the red nun, solemn]; bound 
themselves to furnish all the nun and other merchandise for which the said 
Indians could make immediate and satisfactorj payment. 

234 HISTORY OF NORTH I \i:<>I.IN\ 1776 

and death by caution and bravery. A- early as 1769 he joined 
John Finley, who had two year- before been trapping upon 
Louisa River, in an expedition to what i- now Kentucky. 
They were accompanied by John Stuart, Joseph Bolden, 
James Moncey and William Cool. A.fter surviving a thou- 
sand perils, Boone had made good hi- efforl at settlement, 

and in 1 77<>. ii[ the reception of the oews of the first battle of 

the Revolution, commemorated that event by naming a Ion- vil- 
lage Lexington. Tims, while civilized war was raging along 
the Atlantic slope, the hold mountaineers of North Carolina 
were penetrating the wilds lying beyond the Alleghanies, and 
despite frequent death and disaster from the great Indian tribes 
of that region, were broadening the limits of the future impe- 
rial American Commonwealth. 



A. I). 17 77 TO 17 80. 

Governor Caswell as the Chief-Magistrate of North Carolina Articles oft on- 
t'ederation — North Carolina troops transferred from South Carolina to tin- 
North — Deaths of Judge Maurice and General James Moore — The Tories 
bide their time for vengeance— General Assembly meets .it Xcw-Bem — 
General Robert Howe — Samuel Ashe and Aimer Nash, Speakers — Their 
characters and services — Legislation — Members of prominence < lonrl Law- 
passed at second session — The State Courts — The Judges and Attorney-Gen- 
eral — Movements of the army under General Washington — The North 
Carolina Battalions re-inforce him — Battle of Germantown — Repulse of the 
Americans — Deaths of General Nash, Colonels Buncombe, Irwin and 
others — Gates and Saratoga — Washington at Valley Forge — General LaFay- 
ette — The Scotch troubled by Colonel Folsome — The Courts and Lawyer- of 
1778 — General Assembly meets at New-Bern — Whitmel Hill and Thomas 
Benbury, Speakers — Conservatives still in a minority — John William- suc- 
ceeds Judge Iredell on the Superior Court Bench — Popular leaders — Second 
session of Assembly at Hillsboro — General Allen .loins in the Chair of the 
Senate — Legislation of the session — English offers for an accommodation — 
Earl of Chatham against peace — General Clinton abandons Philadelphia : is 
pursued, and fights at Monmouth — General Sumner succeeds General 
Nash — General Robert Howe at Savannah — Succeeded by General Benja- 
min Lincoln in command of Georgia — South Carolina and Georgia's injus- 
tice to Howe — General John Ashe also beaten at Brier ( reek — ( iolonel John 
Hamilton — Howe and Gadsden — Caswell to take the field H ith eight thousand 
North Carolina militia — British at Norfolk -General Assemblies of Halifax 
and Smithtield — Major Murfree and Stony Point — Confiscation of Loyalists' 
property — Congressional Delegates Governor Caswell's term expires. 

The new year, 1777, came upon North Carolina redeemed, 
renovated and disenthralled. Military movements were confined 
to the North, where General Washington, amid the greatest dilli- 
culties, was displaying his supreme fitness for the eminent position 
he was to maintain to the close of the war. Every movement 
against the patriot cause in North Carolina had been signally 
overthrown and peace had conic to all her borders. The Scots 
and Regulators were keeping enforced quiet, and < reneral Ruther- 


ford had inflicted such chastisement upon the Cherokees, that 
no further injury was ever t<» be experienced from them. Gov- 
ernor Caswell was as one raised up by Providence for the special 
performance of great duties. Like Sir Walter Raleigh, his en- 
dowments were not impaired as to any single excellence in the 
fad of their variety. His versatility was wondrous and no 
man ever more nobly discharged the work required at his hand-. 
A.s Chief-Magistrate in a new and untried system, the utmost 
delicacy and foresight were required. Zeal, promptitude and for- 
bearance were constantly manifested in this, as in all of the other 
varied trusts committed to his keeping. He waa the idol of the 
dominant and extreme Democrats and was to retain to the day of 
liis death the confidence and admiration of the very ele&ant gentle- 
men who were so recently defeated in their plan for creatine.- an 
aristocratic svstem of rule for the State. 

On October Ith, 1776, the Continental Congress had proposed 
to the different States the adoption of the Articles of Confeder- 
ation. This measure had been deliberated for three months 
after the Declaration of Independence. North Carolina fully 
endorsed this formation of a government on duly 21>t, 1 7 7 S , 
when John Penn and John Williams of Granville, and ( lornelius 
Harnett of New Hanover, carried out the Legislature's instruc- 
tions to that efl'ect. J All of the States acted with becoming de- 
liberation in this important matter. The act of Congress, by its 
own terms, had to be submitted to the State governments and 
adopted by them before becoming operative. So in duly of 
the year indicated, it was t" become law and was the first attempt 
at forming a true American nationality. 

Upon the defeat of Sir Peter Parker and Lord Cornwallis at 
( 'harlestmi, in dune, 177(>, the North ( 'arolina troops soon found 

■\'.m. Nathaniel Macon bad known all the great men of America, when 
in 1835, he presided in the Convention a( Raleigh. He then declared lie had 
never seen a more powerful man than Richard Gas well. f 

^Debates in < onvention, page I". 
(Hickev on die Constitution, page l'- 111 . 

1777. PALLIDA MORS. 237 

no enemy in their presence. Early in 1777 orders came for 
their transferrence to the army commanded by General Washiner- 
ton.* The militia under General Ashe wenl to their homo, but 
the First and Second North Carolina Continental Battalions, 
then containing fifteen hundred men, marched to Pennsylvania, 
as did also the four additional battalions ordered by the Halifax 
Congress, f 

The country around Charleston has been long celebrated 
for its deadly malaria. Not even the Pontine .Marshes of 
Italy are more fatal to the stranger, who inhales at night their 
noxious vapors. General James Moore came back to Wilming- 
ton a victim to his patriotism and the foul exhalations he had 
been breathing on the South Carolina coast. He reached the 
mansion of Judge Maurice Moore, his elder brother, who like- 
wise was at death's door, after a long life of public service. They 
were both dead in the same house and at the same time, and 
in the conjoined loss were mourned for by the people, who had 
long known and honored them, as their worth and public 

*Note. — When the North Carolina Continentals started to re-inforce Gen- 
eral Washington, the army under his command bad readied a point threatening 
speedy and total annihilation. Nothing but the blundering incapacity of Sir 
William Howe prevented Lord Cornwallis from the capture of the whole 

American army in New Jersey. The order which arrested tin- forward move- 
ment of the hold and sagaeious nobleman at Brunswick, enabled the flying 
remnant to effect a crossing of the Delaware River.} < reneral Washington bad 
been forced from Long Island and New York and could not muster four thou- 
sand men. Stedm an, the historian, who was then on Sir William Howe's 
staff, says that the force under the hitler's command at that time reached a total 
of twenty-nine thousand. The Americans were not only feu in numbers but 
were depressed by defeat and the demoralizing effects of a long retreat. Bur- 
goyne was soon to he in the heart of New York and no force could he spared 
from that quarter. It was in tin- most critical juncture that the -i\ 
North Carolina Battalions of Continentals came to the relief of the perishing 
American cause in the North. They doubled < reneral Washington's force and 
enabled him not only to keep the field in the face of the enemy but shortly 
afterward to make battle at Brandywine. 

fLife of Iredell, vol. I, page 325, fStedinan, vol. I. page 249. 


service merited. Judge Moore left two suns in the service, 
as Captains of North Carolina Battalions of the line. One «>i' 
these, Maurice, was to be slain at Brunswick, but in his brother 
Alfred, a family long renowned, was i" receive additional lustre 
to its ancient celebrity. General Robert Howe was still left in 
command of one of the two brigades of North Carolina Conti- 
nentals. He too, was possessed "1" courage and capacity, and was 
soon to assume command in Georgia. As a member of the 
House of Assembly he had been for many vears among the 
boldest and most intelligent of the leaders, who rallied at Colo- 
nel John Harvey's call. General James Moore was succeeded 
by Colonel Francis Nash in the command of his brigade. Gen- 
eral Nash was the brother of Aimer Nash and exhibited equal 
courage, patriotism and intelligence^ He was destined to a 
short but brilliant experience and was soon to seal bis faith with 
his blood. 

The first Legislature of the State of North Carolina met at 
New-Bern, on April <sth, 1777. It was extremely important as- 
many measures needed to complete the new government were t<- be 
provided by its enactments. Samuel A-he of New Hanover 
was selected Speaker of the Senate and Aimer Nash of Craven 
for the similar position in the House of Commons. Mr. A-he. 
like his brother, ( reneral John Ashe, had Keen long conspicuous in 
public life and was largely influential both in legal and political 
circles. He was not of a spirit to tolerate much opposition to 
his views and was whole-hearted in his support of popular meas- 
ures of government, so recently adopted. This led to some 
differences with certain lawyers, who were as a rule the sup- 
porters of Samuel Johnston in his view-, but none <>\' them 
could deny the fine abilities or sincerity of Samuel A-he. Hi- 

family exceeded all others in the State for the number and valor 

tNons.— General Nash married Sally Moore, the daughter of Judge Moore, 
who afterwards intermarried with Colonel Thomas Clark and was the great- 
grandmother of (In- late Hugh Waddell of I [illsboro. 

Wheeler, vol. II. page 883. 


off its scions in the military service.* Aimer Nash lived in the 
vicinity of New-Bern, at a place called Pembroke, widely cele- 
brated as the seat of a cordial hospitality. He had married 

the widow of Governor Dobbs and had been all alone.' a leader 
in the measures of the Whig party. He was of profuse and ele- 
gant habits, and like Mr. Ashe, was to leave illustrious and use- 
ful issue for future service in the State.* Much of the stately 
ceremonial once attendant upon the meeting of a new Assembly 
was now gone forever in the advent of* a plainer republican life; 
but still the Sergeant-at- Arms of the two Houses accompanied 
the Speakers in their progress to and from the sessions of the 

Governor Caswell was domiciled in the Palace, which Gov- 
ernor Trvon had induced the Colonial Assembly to erect at so 
much cost of blood and treasure. Laws were enacted as to the 
militia, for levying taxes, as to crimes and punishments, oaths 
and perjuries and for the establishment of Caswell, Camden ami 
Burke counties. A statute was also passed for erecting County 
Courts and appointing Sheriffs in the District of Washington. 
This large and fruitful land was ere long to become the State of 
Tennessee, and was still tenanted principally by the recently-sub- 
dued tribes of the Cherokee Indians. f 

Many of the prominent citizens of the new State participated 
in this session of the General Assembly. Samuel Johnston, 
General Allen Jones and Joseph Hewes had been defeated, as the 
leaders of the late aristocratic movement, but William Hooper, 
Archibald Maclaine and James Coor were of the same faith and 
yet retained their ancient ascendency. Willie Jones was the 
recognized leader of the men who really controlled public affairs 
in the Assembly. Matthew Locke of Rowan, Elisha Battle of 
Edgecombe, Waightstill Avery of Mecklenburg, .lohn Penn, and 

*Note. — These were < reneral John Ashe and \\\> Bon, < laptain Samuel Ashe. 
Governor Samuel Ashe had also two sons, John Baptiste and Samuel Ashe, 

who rose to be Colonels in I he army. 

*Jones' Defence, page 212. f I'ul.lic Acts, pages •J"-'. 203 and 204. 


General Thomas Person of Granville, and Thomas Benbury of 
Chowan were all men of weight. Hooper declined re-election 
to the Continental Congress. Hewes was defeated and the new 
delegation consisted of John Penn of < rranville, ( Cornelius 1 [ar- 
nctt of NVw Hanover and Thomas Burke of Orange. 

There were no ( !ourt Laws passed at this session of the Assem- 
bly and the legal gentlemen of the State were much disappointed 
thereat. They had been the leaders in all patriotic movements 
and were greatly incommoded, in many instances, by the Long and 
total suppression of their revenues. In the case of William 
1 loupcr, he asserted that he could not consent to return to the 
Continental Congress, for the reason of domestic necessities, and 
the State was thus bereft of the services, in that importantarena, 
of the most learned and eloquent man then to be found in all her 
borders. At the session of the Legislature, begiuningoti Novem- 
ber 15th of the same year, at New-Bern, the Court Bill, which 
had been drafted and presented by -lames Iredell of Chowan, 
with slight modifications suggested by Archibald Maclaine of 
Wilmington, who was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, 
became law. By this celebrated statute the old Districtsof Eden- 
ton, New-Bern, Wilmington, Halifax, Hillsboro and Salisbury 
were continued. Three Judges, Samuel Ashe of New Hanover, 
dames Iredell of Chowan and Samuel Spencer of Anson were 
elected December 20th. f These Superior Courts were to meet 

twice a year at each of the towns just mentioned and possessed 
full powers in matters cognizable in Common Law tribunals; 
Inn equity jurisdiction was not conferred until 1782.J One Judge 
constituted a quorum and might hold court in the absence of his 
colleagues, " provided always, that demurrers, cases agreed, special 
verdicts, bills of exception to evidence and motions in arrest of 
judgment, should not be argued but before two or more Judges." 
Judge Ashe had been trained by his uncle, Colonel Samuel 
Sw.inn, for the Bar, l»ut hid nol given his profession such dili- 

l.ii. of [redell, vol. 1. page 358. 1 1 >i i<- of Iredell, vol. I. page '■'<!>'. 
Public Acts, page 312. 



gent attention as was seen in the case of Iredell." The latter 
was but twenty-six years old, but was universally recognized ae 
the ablest jurist then in North Carolina. He was uol inferior 
as an advocate to Hooper and Maclaine; in technical knowl- 
edge was already beyond either; and was fast extending a re- 
nown which was soon to be as wide as the bound of the 
nation. Judge Ashe, with all his attachment to the land of his 
birth, Mas no more devoted than his young colleague, who had 
so recently left his high connections in England. Judge Spen- 
cer had been Clerk of the Court in Anson in Tryon's times, and 
had been hated and troubled by the Regulators. His activity 
as a Whig had given him prominence but he was not a great 
jurist and was to become odious to the Bar, who long sought to 
drive him from the Bench. r Colonel Waightstill Avery of 
Mecklenburg was appointed Attorney -General. He was a man 
of equal learning and efficiency, and had done much to produce 
the advanced patriotism seen in the famous Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion, of which he was a signer. He was born in Connecticut 
and upon his marriage, had settled in Onslow, but his sojourn 
was temporary in that county, and he soon returned t<> Meck- 

In a series of unfortunate movements, the army under Gen- 
eral Washington was forced from its occupation of the city of 
New York and Long Island. A retreat across the State of New 
Jersey was successfully accomplished and all the North Caro- 
lina Continental Battalions were with the main American army 
when the British commander, General Howe, transferred his 
troops from New Jersey, and by water conveyed them to the 
head of Elk River in Maryland. % It was at once seen that the 
enemy were moving for the occupation of Philadelphia and the 
American forces were conveyed to such a position as covered the 
approaches to that important place. General Washington had 
but seven thousand men when he took the field in the spring of 

*Life of rredell, vol. I, page 367. fLife of tredell, vol. I. page 368. 
}< roodrich's U. S. History, page 283. 




this year. Disaster and despondency had helped the evil of ex- 
piring terms of enlistment, and he was almost too weak to face 
the foe, when thesis Battalions of North Carolinians, number- 
ing four thousand muskets, came to liis relief.* The First and 
Second Battalions were become veterans, and had seen two suc- 
cessful campaigns in the South. The four others, commanded 
respectively by Colonels Jethro Sumner, Thomas Polk, Edward 
Buncombe and Alexander Lillington, were not of equal expe- 
rience in the Held, but were to sustain the reputation of North 
Carolina by unfailing courage in all the encounters in which 
they engaged throughout the war. They participated with credit 
in the battles of Princeton and Brandy wine, hut in the bloody 
encounter at ( rermantown, ( )ctober 4th, 1 777, their valor was to 
he conspicuously approved. This was a small villain' six miles 
from Philadelphia. It was in possession of the enemy, who 
was somewhat weakened by detachments sent againsl the forts 
on the Delaware River. General Washington seized the oppor- 
tunity to fall upon the British and was only prevented from com- 
plete success by the enemy's occupation of certain strong build- 
ings, from which they poured so deadly a fire that the Ameri- 
cans were compelled to retire after losing a thousand men.f It 
was a bloody day for North Carolina. Brigadier General Fran- 
cis Nash was mortally wounded and Colonel Edward Bum me 

fNoTE. — An inspection of the ( "u ■ I < t charl and correspondence given in the 
lil'ili volume of General Washington's writings, shows that a long, straggling 
village known as Germantown at thai day, divided the American column of 
attack into two sections. < >n the riulii of the village :i Bingle division was 
sent in, on the extreme right of which were posted General Na-li and Ins 
North Carolina Brigade. On the lefl <>f the village more than three divisions 
made a simultaneous attack. Nash and lii- supports had driven the enemy 
nearly two miles when hefound thai no parallel advance was being made on 
the left of the American line of battle. II< was threatened in Hank and rear, 
and suffered horribly in retreat. Had all present acted like General Nash and 
the First North Carolina Brigade, the battle of Germantown would have been 
a splendid Buccess. 

\\ heeler, vol. II. page 125. 


of Tyrrel, commanding the Fifth Battalion and Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Henry Irwin of Edgecombe, belonging to the same com- 
mand, fell dead upon the field.* Captain Jacob Turner of Bertie 
and Captain Lucas, Adjutant of the Third Battalion, also fell in 
the same engagement. Nash survived but a short time. He was 
of approved gallantry and was a great loss; for in capacity and 
courage he had but few equals in the American service, f Col- 
onel Buncombe possessed wealth and popularity in North Caro- 
lina and had been for years a leading man in the public councils. 
His lavish hospitality and liberality to the struggling cause is 
yet commemorated in the famous county amid the mountains, 
which bears his name. Colonel Irwin was also a man of note 
and had been long prominent in every movement for free- 

After this serious check General Washington went into winter 
quarters at Valley Forge. General Gates' success at Saratoga 
had raised up men who were weak enough to be dazzled by hi> 
one fortunate feat and to imagine him the superior of the great 
man in command of the armies. Congress made him chief of 
a military board called the Committee of War, and many of his 
partisans were clamorous for his substitution in place of thegreater 

INote. — Colonel Wheeler, in his history and J. F. Watson, in liis "Annals 
of Philadelphia," state that General Nash was wounded by a cannon hall and 
that the fatal injury was in his thigh; but I am satisfied this is a mistake. I 
am assured by my excellent and most sensible friend, Dr. Richard 11. Hay- 
wood, that he had it from the lips of Colonel William Polk, that lie was 
also injured in the same battle and was with General Nash when he died. 
They were both shot down by a volley, which came from their left and raked 
their line with terrible effect. This deadly round was the work of the Queen'e 
Yagers. General Nash was shot through the face in such a manner that he 
lost both his eyes, while Colonel Polk was wounded in the tongue and was un- 
able to speak. lie used to repeat a remark of General Nash, that both wen- 
thus unfitted for future service and would he useful to each other in the trip 
home. Nash died in a few days after the battle but Polk recovered t<> enjoj 
future military laurels and the multiplied honors of a long and useful life. 

*Wheeler, vol. II, pages 31, 142 and 334. 



Virginian. It was only needed thai another year should come 
ami General Grates was to display at Camden bow utterly unfit- 
ted he was by nature and habit for any great command. Amid 
the horrors of cold and want and detraction, the grandest of men 
was to share the Bufferings of the eleven thousand half-clad sol- 
diers \vh<> were to shiver through the pitiless winter in the log 
liut> of Valley Forge. Sustained by the greatness and purity 
i»i' hi- -mil, George Washington clung to the sure policy of de- 
fence, and disregarded the critics, who questioned hi> courage and 
capacity because he would not ruin a great cause in a paltry ef- 
fort to win their admiration. f It was the blackest hour of a 
Long and horrible night of suspense; but Benjamin Franklin 
would soon procure help from France and wise nun of both 
continents saw that onlv time was needed to bring about the 
freedom of America. 

The brave and generous young Marquis de La Payette had 
been for sometime in the American army a Brigadier-General, 
and had been severely wounded at Brandy wine. Three other 
French officers arrived in North Carolina and offered their ser- 
vices to the State.! They were Puchew, Xoinnont de La Neu- 
ville and La Tours, all having seen active military operation- in 
Europe. Governor Caswell did not accept their gallant tender 
l>ut referred them to the Continental authorities, who gave these 
high-horn and chivalrous strangers honorable place- in the 
American army, in which Kosciusco, De Kalh, Pulaski and Steii- 
ben were also to grow famous. 

The new year of L778 found North Carolina -till unmolested 
by invasion or any serious signs of -edition among the malcon- 
tent.- in the central counties. The unfortunate Scotch Highland- 
ers had been almost as completely crushed at Moore'- ('reek as 
at the L r re;it defeat of ( ulloden at home, hut they were -till bid- 
ine; their time for revenge on their adversaries. They were no 

I [olmes, page 130. 
tW. Hooper to Samuel Johnston, September 27th, 177<i. 
J Life of Ir.-ilcll, vol. I, page 361. 


more toorganize in large force, but nil through Cumberland and 
the surrounding counties were scattered individuals who were 
guided by such men as John Pyle of Chatham and anxious for 
an opportunity to repay the cruelties of Ebenezer Fola •. 

The long-suppressed courts were at la>t established and the 
lawvcrs with their stick-gigs and servants on horse-hack re- 
sumed their tedious, semi-annual pro^re»cs through the State. 
Judges Ashe, Iredell and Spencer missed many members of the 
former Carolina Bar, as they were absent with their commands 
in Pennsylvania, hut William Hooper, Samuel Johnston, Archi- 
bald Maclaine, Ahner Nash, Thomas Burke, Thomas Jones and 
the different local advocates still composed a legal array of the 
utmost respectability.* At all the six town.-, wherein the Supe- 
rior Courts for the whole State were held, there was much bustle 
at each term, and indictments for high treason were plentiful. 
All the Sheriffs of each county constituting the district w<-r< 
required to he present, and three of them were by turns in 
constant attendance upon the court. Between grand and petit 
jurors, prisoners, suitors, witnesses and members of the Bar, 
some of the villages were densely packed and but poor accom- 
modations found as to food and lodging. 

The General Assembly met in New-Bern on the 14th day of 
April j 1778, and selected Whitmel Hill of Martin county as 
Speaker of the Senate.t He was a man of culture, and pos- 
sessed the confidence of all sections ami parties in the State. Il< 
was to become a member of the Continental Congress and the 
founder of a family still prominent in North Carolina. The 
Speaker of the Lower House was Thomas Benbury of I 'howan. 
Like many other citizens of Edenton, Mr. Benbury bad become 
known and respected all over the State. He too was to survive 
in usefulness through a virtuous and cultivated posterity. The 
extreme Republicans or Democrats continued in power and the 
party of Samuel Johnston and Joseph Hewes remained in com- 
parative obscurity as to directing the political fortunes of the 

*Judge [redelPs Lfetters. Public lets, | 


( lommonwealth. Neither of these distinguished men were mem- 
ber.- <>f this Legislature. .Joseph Hewes, though again a candi- 
date for the < lontinental ( longress, was defeated, and John Penn, 
Cornelius Harnett of New Banover and Thomas Burke of 
Orange were delegated to the National Assembly. .John Wil- 
liams of Granville was elected to the same honorable functions, 
but upon the resignation of Judge Iredell from the Superior 
Court was appointed his successor. Judge Williams was not the 
choice of the Stale; for both ex-Judge Richard Henderson and 
Archibald Maclaine were tendered the place but declined. 
He was not a man of much culture, cither in letter- or the law 
and had been a sufferer by the violence of the Regulators. His 
strong republican views gave him much popularity, and he was 
long highly influential in all political movements. 

Willie .Jones was, as usual, a member of the Assembly and all- 
powerful in his influence, lie and General Thomas Person, 
Aimer Nash, General Rutherford and James Coor had been lead- 
er- in colonial times, but there were several accessions of new 
members, who were to prove of great usefulness in the future 
State Councils. Among these were ( olonel Thomas Owen of 
Bladen, Timothy Bloodworth of New Hanover, Oroondates 
Davis of Halifax and Benjamin Cleaveland*of Wilkes. Timo- 
thy Bloodworth was as defective in early education as Judge 
Williams and, like him, had been a mechanic, vet few men of his 
day possessed a stronger will or a broader natural understanding. 
1 1'' was radical and almost Red Republican in his views, and 
well-nigh as intolerant of opposition as ( reneral Thomas Person. ; 
He was to obtain abiding influence and to achieve many honors 
before his death. Colonels Owen and Cleaveland are yet re- 
membered for their deed.- in the field, where they were even 
more conspicuous than in deliberative liodie.-. 

Such was the strenuousness of the times that it was common 
during the Revolution for the General Assembly to meet twice 
in each year: consequently upon Governor Caswell's call, there 

►Life oi [redell, vol. I. page 397. tLife of [redell, vol II. page 230. 


was a second session at Hillsboro on August 8th. In the slim- 
mer elections there had been a slight revulsion in political senti- 
ment, and General Allen Jones, so conspicuous as a leader of the 
aristocratic party, was returned us a member of the Senate and 
succeeded Whitmel Hill as Speaker, upon the latter's resignation 
to assume his place in the Continental Congress." General Jonen 
as a man was justly reverenced throughout the State. The 
masses of that day did not agree with him as to what should be 
the character of their government, hut this did not weaken their* 
confidence in his honor and loyalty to the patriot cause. There 
was a singular contradiction in the habits of the times. The 
ultra-Republicans struggled to defeat the election of their party 
opponents, but generally in ease of their success, placed them in 
conspicuous places in the Assembly. 

The legislation of the year was embraced in acts for the benefit 
of the Continental troops of the State, against vagrancy and 
desertion, the entry of lands, salaries of civil officers, the great 
seal of the State, the militia, export of provisions, counterfeit- 
ing, fees of Sheriffs, repairs to Fort Johnston, protection to the 
Tuscarora Indians, a fresh emission of paper money, recovery of 
debts due the United States, and for the benefit of the Chero- 

England sent a fresh commission to arrange terms with her 
revolted colonies; but it was too late. Therecent French treat \ 
bound the Americans to enter into no terms without the consent 
of the Court of Versailles, and that which had been feasible and 
greatly desired in 1776 had now become alike impossible and dis- 
honorable. The Duke of Richmond had introduced a resolution 
in the House of Lords which in effect recognized America as in- 
dependent. This fired the soid of dying Chatham with unspeak- 
able indignation. He was carried to the House of Peers, and 
there, supported by his crutches and friends, the worn-out stat< - 
man showed that his intelligence had but partially survived the 
wreck of his body. "I am old and infirm," said he, "but I 

*Jud#e Martin's Statutes, vol. I. page 259. 


rejoice that the grave has nol closed upon me; thai I am still 
alive i" lift my voice against the dismemberment of this ancient 
and most ooble monarchy. Let as al least make one effort, and 
it' tall we must, let as tall like men." This was lii- last public 
utterance and it fell as it' from inspired lip-. Theancient friend 
and protector of the A mericans was for once in his life the enemy 
of their pence and was in a few day- asleep with the immortals 

in Westminster A^bbey. 

When Sir Henry Clinton succeeded General Howe as com- 
mander of the British forces in America, heat once resolved to 
abandon Philadelphia, and the retreat t<> New York commenced 
as soon as he found that Congress refused to negotiate. This 
movement of ( llinton was a fair sample of British tactics through- 
out the war. Howe's advance against Philadelphia was but feebly 

carried out and the -n ss won at Germantown produced no 

such aggressive movements against the Americans as were fnllv 
justified in the fact of the bloody check they then received. Sir 
Henry was to remain cooped up in New York until the end oi 
the war and would run no risks <»f encountering Burgoyne's 
misfortune at Saratoga. Lord Cornwallis presented a brilliant 
and imposing contrast to these feeble military counsels. That 
he was foiled at (J nil ford and captured at Yorktown grew out 
of the weakness and irresolution of Sir Henry Clinton. Taking 
into consideration the meagreness of Hi- Lordship's mean-, his 
campaigns in the South will ever convince dispassionate and in- 
telligent men of his great courage ami strength as a military 
chief. He was as fully vindicated in defeat a- were Hannibal 
or Napoleon I . 

General Washington followed in pursuit from Valley Forge, 
and overtook the enemy at Monmouth Court-House in New 
Jersey . June 28th.f ( Jeneral < lharles Lee. commanding the ad- 
vanced portion of the American-;, had orders to attack, and did 
so; Inn fearing his supports would aot !»•• on hand in time, he 
was withdrawing his troop.- when General Washington rode 

Macaulay'n Essays, pag< 736. (-Holmes' U. 8., page 133. 


swiftly up and demanded "General Lee, why this ill-timed pru- 
dence?" Cornwallis was pressing heavily upon the retreating 
Americans, but the main body arriving upon the field, I. 
disordered forces were rallied and the enemy driven back. It 
was one of the hottest days on record, and the men on both sides 
fell dead from sheer heat and exhaustion. Lee's corps had been 
engaged all day and when night came General Washington ar- 
rested the attack with the purpose of renewing it in the morning; 
The British moved off in the night and soon gained security on 
the heights of Neversink, having lost two thousand men by 
casualties and desertion in crossing the State of New Jersey.* 
The North Carolina Continentals won high commendation for 
their good conduct on the Held at Monmouth, and Captain 
Hardy Murfree of the Second Regiment was promoted to be 
Major of that command. His Regiment did noi accompany 
General Lincoln to Charleston, but the five other North Carolina 
Battalions were assigned as a portion of that officer's Army of the 
South. f Jethro Sumner, Colonel of the Third Battalion, was 
appointed Brigadier-General in place of General Nash, slain at 
Germantown, and was in command of his brigade]; but did not 
go South until General Gates went to supply the place of the 
captured men of Charleston. 

After the battle of Moore's Creek the Tories of North Caro- 
lina no longer dared open embodiment, but Lieutenant-Colonel 
John Hamilton, a Scotch Merchant, late of Halifax, repaired to 
St. Augustine in Florida, and established a cam]), where a regi- 
ment of Loyalists was organized. To this point his recruits re- 
paired singly or in small squads. In this way he had at the 
period now under consideration a disciplined force which was to 
be a formidable help to the King's agents in America. Colonel 
Hamilton had fought for Charles Edward at Culloden in hisex- 

+ Noti:. — It has been generally asserted thai all the North Carolina Conti- 
nentals accompanied General Lincoln to Charleston, but the Second Battalion 

was at Stony Point months later. 

^Goodrich's U. S., page 210. 'Winder, vol. 11. page 125, 


trerae youth and was now devoted in his attachment to the House 
of Sanover. 

With the reception of the new.- of the American defeat at Sa- 
vannah, came great excitement among the North Carolina Tories. 

Colonel Boyd, who lived on the lower Yadkin collected a large 
force and reached the Savannah River before meeting with any 
obstruction to his march. In attempting to go to Savannah 
along the Georgia side of the river, they were attacked and 
routed by the South Carolina Whigs, commanded by Colonel 
Andrew Pickens. Boyd was slain and all but three hundred of* 
his followers dispersed or slain. This remnant kept together and 
reached General Prevosfs quarters.* 

General Robert Howe of North Carolina had Ween for some 
time in charge of the military district of Georgia. At the be- 
ginning of the new year his available force was one battalion of 
the North Carolina line, containing six hundred men, and a like 
number of Georgia militia. t General Howe in some way had 
incurred the resentment of Governor Houston and he found him- 
self effectually thwarted in most of his schemes of defence. t 
Colonel Campbell, with three thousand five hundred British 
troops, left New York in the month of November, 177>\ to 
attack Savannah. General Prevost came from St. Augustine with 
another considerable body of invaders to join Colonel Camp- 
bell. A regiment of this force was commanded by Colonel John 
Hamilton, late of Halifax, North Carolina. It was composed 
of Royalists who had withdrawn from their homes in the same 
State and were become formidable both in courage and discipline. 
Colonel Hamilton was a man of fortune and fine social gifts.§ 

*Note, Both Chief-Justice Marshall and Mr. William Gil more Simras fell 
into error in saying there were South Carolina troops at Savannah. There 
\Mif ther Whig forces in the battle save the Second North Carolina Conti- 
nentals and six hundred of the Georgia militia. Governor Graham was right 
in his vivid allusion to the deadly conflict of General Howe's old command 
with Colonel John Hamilton's North Carolina Loyalist regiment. 

*Stedman, vol. II. page 120. JLife of Iredell, vol. I. page 1<»7. 

^Governor Graham's Lecture, page H'><>. 


25 1 

He sided with the King but did oof lose the respect of the Whig 
gentlemen who had known him before the war. He had been 

ut Culloden and came to North Carolina at the same time with 
James Fraser of Hertford, who was one of his most trusted 
Captains. They were both merchants and were great friends 
through life. Colonel Hamilton had been for more than a year 
absent from North Carolina, and had collected his recruits at St. 

The British troops from New York and St. Augustine, having 
been combined, General Prevost moved to the attack of Savan- 
nah-, on December 29th, 1778. General Howe did all that could 
have been possibly accomplished with his small force. His troops 
fought with obstinate bravery, but the overpowering numbers of 
the enemy enabled them to attack in front and flank at the same 
time.* Hamilton's North Carolina Loyalists! confronted the 
Continentals of the same State and most gallantly did they 
strive upon opposing sides.! General Howe was driven from 
all his defences around the city and was very soon afterwards 
transferred to a command in the Army of the North, where he 
became one of the most trusted of General Washington's division 
commanders. The South Carolinians and Georgians, under the 
lead of Christopher Gadsden, procured his removal from com- 
mand in the South and such was the bitterness evoked that a 
duel between Howe and Gadsden was the consequence. § 

With the beginning of this new year, two thousand men of 
the North Carolina Militia were sent to South Carolina under 
General Ashe. General Lincoln having superseded General 
Howe, had brought with him from the North all the North ( 'an>- 

fNoTE. — Dr. G. C. Moore still remembers tc i have seen Colonel Hamilton 
at Mulberry Grove, in Hertford county, while Hamilton was British Consul at 
Norfolk. He describes him as a short, red-faced man, who was full ofgayet) 
and fond of high living. Governor Burke and others bore witness t" bie 
kindness to the Wings, whenever in the fortunes of war they fell into lii> power. 

*Holmes, page 38. JLife of tredell, vol. 1. page 325. 

§Life of Iredell, vol. I, page 10. 



Mini Contioeutal Battalions l>ut the Second, which was soon to 
be found participating in the attack upon Stony Point. General 
Ashe had barely reached Charleston, where he had been 
promised equipments, before he was ordered to take the field. 
Hi- remonstrances against sending him thus unprovided toward 
the enemy, were nol regarded, and be took up his march toward 
the Georgia line. Colonel Andrew Pickens' defeat of the North 
Carolina Tories, who had embodied and were marching through 
South Carolina, occurred at this time. It prostrated Loyalisl 
movements for a time, and left North Carolina free to send fur- 
ther re-inforcements to General Lincoln. When General Ashe 
approached Augusta, in Georgia, the enemy under General Pre- 
vost abandoned that point and retired down the river in the 
direction of Savannah. General Ashe followed in pursuit with 
the militia brigades of Generals Lillington and Bryant,* and 
had reached Brier ('reek, in Georgia, near Savannah River, 
when at 3 o'clock in the evening of March 3rd, the wily General 
Prevost, with one thousand seven hundred British regulars, be- 
sides the Tory battalions of North Carolina, New York and 
Georgia, suddenly rushed upon the American rear, when it had 
been fullv believed he was retiring in their front. The sin- 
prise and alarm were instantaneous and complete. I\esi>tanoe 
did not continue live minute-, and many threw down their arms 
and fled without at all discharging their pieces.f General 
Griffith Rutherford, with his usual good fortune, was not present 
at this disaster. lie was stationed at Mathews 5 Bluff, and his 
brigade was a refuge, to which most of the fugitives from Brier 
< 'reek retired for re-embodiment. This was a -ad disaster both 
to General Ashe and the cause he so bravely upheld. He was 
acquitted of everything but the want of proper precautions 
against surprise, by the Court of Enquiry, which was ordered at 
his demand, but the matter led to such chagrin that the fiery 
-onl of tin' old man grew reckless of danger to himself and he 

•Letter from George Davis, Esq. General tahe's Report. 


no more appeared as a commander, in the brief period of his 


The Continental Congress was anxious that Richard Caswell 
should hold high command and give the weight of his genius 
and presence to the direction of military movements in the South. 
Eight thousand militia were therefore ordered for South Caro- 
lina ; to be put subsequently under his command.* General 
Mathews' attack upon Norfolk did not disturb this programme. 
Alarm was felt for a short while in the Albemarle country, but 
as the invaders soon sailed from Hampton Roads with their large 
booty, confidence was restored and the great work of forwarding 
men to the South went on. 

The General Assembly met at Halifax, January 19th, and 
again at Smithtield in Johnston county, on May 2nd. General 
Allen Jones and Thomas Benburry of Chowan, were again 
Speakers of the two Houses. Acts in regard to the militia and 
for defence of North and South Carolina, as to confiscations, 
extension of the Virginia boundary line, and for the erection of 
Gates, Montgomery, Randolph, Lincoln and Rutherford coun- 
ties, constituted the legislation at these two short sessions.! The 
late defeat of the Tories by Colonel Pickens, had so cowed 
the spirits of the Royalists that no open movements were observ- 
able for the King in North Carolina, but singly or by small 
squads, re-inforcements were not infrequently passing southward 
to the posts commanded by General Prevost.$ 

In the month of July there was an occurrence upon Hudson 
River, in which great credit was won by the American troops, 
and among the most heroic of these, were two companies of the 
Second North Carolina Continental Battalion. Sir Henry Clin- 
ton effected the capture of Stony Point, on the west shore of the 
river, on May 31st, and of the works at Yerplank's Point, on the 
following day. These works were about thirty miles below 
West Point, which had become all-important in the strategic 

■•■'Public- Acts, vol. II. patio 2i'»s. f Public Acts, pages 270, TrL 

JLife of Iredell, vol. I, page 409. 


movements of General Washington.* It was resolved to effecl 


the re-capture of both. General Anthony Wayne was selected 
for the movement against Stony Point, and on the l'.'th day of 
July, lefl the main body of the army <>n his perilous venture. 
That night by eight o'clock, he reached the vicinity of the work, 
and having reconnoitred, made bis arrangements of attack. 
The British occupied a strong fort on the summit ofahill over- 
looking the river. Towards the west this eminence sunk into a 
low, impassable marsh, through which two Bmall Btreams found 

their way to the river. Tin 1\ passage of this quagmire 

was directly in front of the work and confined to a single cause- 
way, Along the -ides of the hill were two row- of abattis and 
in the fort were six hundred Scotch Highlanders, who were 
veterans and famous all over Europe lor their dauntless valor. 
General Wayne called for volunteers to form a forlorn hope, and 
Major Hardy Murfree of Hertford county, with two companies 
of his battalion, assumed the post of honor ami of peril. A 
little before midnight, with unloaded muskets, the troops were 
got in readiness tor attack. Two columns of assault were on 
either flank, with Major Murfree and the Carolinians in the 
center. A deadly discharge of grape and musketry did not 
deter the assailants for a moment, as in silence tiny swepl on- 
ward up the bloody hill-side. Not a man of the L r ani>on 
escaped, for all were killed or captured. Captain John Daves 
of New-Bern, was second in command of the party under Major 
Murfree, which constituted the forlorn hope. He was danger- 
ously wounded in drawing the enemy's fire, hut ultimately 
recovered his health. He was the ancestor of the family -till to 
We found represented in the city on the Neuse. General Wayne 
was wounded in the head, but was well enough two hour- later 
to write a dispatch to ( reneral Washington announcing his trebly- 
glorious victory. This was in many respects the most brilliant 

" 1 1" Imk-. page I 10. 

f- Washington's Writings, vol. VI. page 538. General Wayne's Rej>orl 


feat of arms witnessed at any time of the war, and filled both 
armies with admiration at the boldness of the eoneeption and 
execution of the whole affair. General Washington was a 
Fabius through the sternest necessity and the weight of his 
supreme patriotism. No general could be bolder when the pos- 
sible consequences were not irretrieveable. The Second North 
Carolina Battalion was in a short while transferred to General 
Lincoln in Charleston, where all the others of the North Caro- 
lina line and a thousand of the militia of the same State were 

The General Assembly met in its third session for the year 
1779, at the town of Halifax, on October 18th. After further 
steps for the re-inforcement of the troops in South Carolina and 
Georgia, elaborate attention was giyen the subject of confiscation 
against the estates of men, declared enemies to the " United States 
of America." There is perhaps, in no other particular so fragrant 
a departure from justice and magnanimity, as is seen in the treat- 
ment by all nations, of the property of their enemies in time of 
war. Christian enlightenment and the code of international 
law have been even to this day unable to protect individual 
rights in the time of national conflict. North Carolina acted as 
all other communities have done, and commenced in 1776, to pro- 
vide for the confiscation of all lands belonging to declared ene- 
mies and of those absentees who were not in her borders to take 
part in the public defence.* The act of this session mentioned 
seventy persons, whose estates in North Carolina, were declared 
confiscated. Among these were Henry E. McCulloh, his father 
and Sir Nathaniel Dukinfield, in whose behalf Judge Iredell 
and Samuel Johnston vainly besought further delay. Mrs. 
Pearson of Bertie, the mother of the young Baronet, was allowed 
the use of certain portions of his large property on Salmon 
Creek, but the late English agents of North Carolina enjoyed no 
such distinction, and their large possessions were lost forever. 

♦Public Acts, page 274. 

•_'."..; HISTORY <>K NORTH < V.ROLINA. 1779. 

A great issue of paper money was added to that already in 
circulation, and Memucan limit of ( rranville, who bad succeeded 
Samuel Johnston as Treasurer, continued to preside over the 
finances of the State. He must have been a most excellent offi- 
cer, for he continued for ten year.- in this highly important posi- 

Thomas Burke, Cornelius Harnett, John Penn and Whitrael 
Hill were continued as members of the < Jontinental ( longress, and 
General Allen Jones, Joseph Hewes, and William Sharpe of 
Rowan, were added to the delegation. Mr. Sharpe was a promi- 
nent lawyer on the Western circuits and had been conspicuous in 
the early Provincial Congresses, especially in that of 1776. He 
had gone as General Rutherford's aid on the Cherokee expedi- 
tion, and with Waightstill Avery. Joseph Winston and Robert 
Lanier, negotiated a treaty in 1777 with the same greal tribe of 
Indian-. : Mr. Hewes took his scat but died on November 
loth, and was buried in Philadelphia with national honor.-, 
lie left a large estate, accumulated by mercantile pursuits in 
Edenton. He had never married, hut cherished a romantic 
fealty to the memory of Isabella Johnston, a sister of Mrs. Ire- 
dell, to whom he was engaged at the period of her death. J 

The greater portion of the force at General Lincoln's disposal 
at Charleston, in the fall of 177!', consisted of six North Caro- 
lina Contintental Battalions. With these posted in the center of 
his lino, on dune ii!»th, he had fought ( lolonel Maitland at Stono.§ 
At the same battle, Colonel William R. Davie, with his mounted 
command, had also participated with conspicuous gallantry and 
received the first of his honorable scars.* In the month of 

Nnii:. Mr. Sbarpe's daughter Rath married Colonel Andrew Caldwell 
..r [redell, who was the father of the late David P. Caldwell, so highly dis- 
tinguished aa a < Circuit Judge in our Suite. Another, ami an elder daughter, 
married \V. W. Erwin of Burke, and left a posterity of like distinction. 

Wheeler, vol. I. page 109. tLife of [redell, vol. I. page 127. 

(Life «'f [redell, vol. 1. page 127. 8 Life <>f [redell, vol. I. page 127. 

1779. GOVERNOR NASH. 257 

September, Count D'Estaing laid siege to Savannah in connection 
with the forces under General Lincoln. The deadly assault on 
October 13th, was made chiefly by French troops, but several 
hundred of the North Carolina Continentals were also engaged, 
as were also Colonel Hamilton's Royalists.* It was on this un- 
fortunate occasion that Count Pulaski and Sergeant Jasper were 

By constitutional limitation, Governor Caswell's term as Chief- 
Magistrate expired in December, 1779, and he was succeeded in 
office by Abner Nash of Craven, as the second Governor of 
North Carolina, under Republican auspices. t The late Execu- 
tive did not retire to the bosom of his family to enjoy the 
rewards of an already established reputation, for at the urgent 
demands of the Continental Congress, he had agreed to take the 
field as commander of the North Carolina Militia, eight thousand 
of whom had been embodied for defence of the State of South 

-Life of Iredell, vol. T, page 435. f Wheeler, vol. I, page 98. 



A. I». 17 80. 

Lssemblj meets at New-Bern Colonel Alexander Martin and Thomas Ben- 
bury, Speakers — Prominent Members Abner Nash, Becond Republican 
Governor of Ninth Carolina — Governor Caswell— Colonel Hawkins and 
Robert Iiijnall. Foreign Agents for the State— The militia levies for Gen- 
eral < laswell — Fall of Charleston and capture of the North Carolina < out i- 
nentals and Militia — Karl Cornwallis— Effect of the fall of Charleston in 
North Carolina — Tarleton surprises Buford at the Waxhaws- General 
Rutherford and Major Davie prepare to resist Lord Cornwallis 1 advance 
Davie's character and services— Caswell and Rutherford hurrying the 
embodiment of the Militia — Colonel John Moore assembles the Tories and 
is defeated by Francis Locke at Ramsour's Mills — Davie cuts off a convoy 
at Flat Rock — Battles of Hanging Rock and Rocky Mount Attack upon 
Pacolet — Cattle of Musgrove's Mill — Arnold's treason— General Gates 
comes as Southern commander— Caswell at Cheraw— Gates reaches De 
Kalh's camp on Deep River— The force there — IF- pushes on to Cheraw - 
Battle of Camden and ruin of the South — Heroism of the Continentals 

Gates flies the Held and meets Davie on his wav — Tarleton surprises 

With the advent of another year of woe, there was nothing to 
cheer the divided ;uul hostile factions in North Carolina. The 
British invaders were not yet upon her soil, but it was seen thai 
great efforts would be made further south. The Tories were 
not to be found at all in the Albemarle region, nor in any eastern 
portion of the State except upon the Cape Fear River. In the 
middle counties they were numerous, and were only awaiting 
their time for vengeance. The General Assembly met at New- 
Bern on the 17th of April, and elected Colonel Alexander 
Martin of Guilford, Speaker of the Senate, while Thomas Ben- 
bury of Chowan, was continued in the chair of" the House. 
General Thomas Person, Willie Jones, William Hooper, Archi- 
bald Maclaine, James < !oor, Timothy Bloodworth, ( reneral Ruth- 
erford, Klisha Battle, 4 * William I Ia\ w ood and Colonel Thomas 

Note. Elisha Battle was the founder of the fame and fortunes of the 
numerous and eminent family of that name. Not in North Carolina alon< have 


Owen were still member.- as they had been for years before, and 
were the leaders in the legislation of this most critical period in 
the State's history. Major Joseph McDowell of Burke, was 
serving his first term. He had already established his reputation 
as a soldier, and was to serve his country through long years of 
patriotic wisdom. His older brother, Charles, was also conspicu- 
ous for his devotion to the American cause. General Isaac 
Gregory of Camden, and General John Butler of Orange, who 
were in command of the militia of their respective regions, were 
also members. Nathaniel Macon of Warren, then a private in one 
of the Continental Battalions, was seen for the first time in a de- 
liberative body, and was destined to continue his representative 
duties for a half century. He had been a student at Princeton, 
but enlisted as a private in the army, refusing all military office- ; 
and when, during his absence, the people of Warren had elected 
him to the Legislature, he had declined to accept until after long 
persuasion by superior officers.* Robert Smith of Chowan, had 
already won position at the Albemarle bar and was a genial and 
cultivated gentleman. William Blount of Craven, was also a 
man of mark. He was born in Bertie county, but had removed 
to New-Bern. t General William Bryan, also of Craven, like his 

its scions risen to distinction. He was greatly reverenced for liis eminent 
piety and wisdom. He was for many years the leader of the Baptists and pic- 
sided with equal grace and fairness in their annual associations. In the Con- 
gresses of the Revolution and the subsequent State Assemblies, he was ever 
among the foremost for active and intelligent patriotism. He shrank from 
the responsibility and cares of the Speaker's position, hut with the Rev. Henry 
Patillo, was the favorite presiding member of Committees of the Whole House. 
Good Lemuel Burkitt, in his quaint old church chronicle, lias left a vivid and 
imperishable monument to his virtues. 

fNoTK. — There have been few instances where live brothers were bo useful 
in their lives as in the case of Governor William Blount. Willie Blount also 
became Governor of Tennessee, while General John Gray Blount, Major 
Reading Blount and Thomas Blount of Edgecombe, became men of the lirst 
respectability in North Carolina, and yet survive in a numerous and most cul- 
tivated posterity. Governor William married Nfary Grainger of Wilmington. 

*Wheeler, vol. II. page 433. 



kinsmen, John Bryan, father and Bon, had been all along a- de- 
voted to the patriot cause as Richard Cogdell and Alexander 
Gaston. Benjamin Spruill of Tyrrel was also a representative 
man in his day and a> in case of the Bryans, 1 i:i~ abundant con- 
tinuance in his posterity. 

Governor Nash exhibited both nerve and ability in his efforts 
to crush the British invasion before it reached the confines of the 
State. Large issues of State Hills of credit were again ordered 
l>y the Legislature, Six millions were t<> be printed under the 
superintendence of Memucan limit. Henry Rhodes and William 
Tisdale, while Joseph Leaeh, James ( !oor, dame- ( rreen and John 
Mat-nii, •• were to receive the Kills when printed, to sign them and 
deliver them into the hands of the Public Treasurers." In tin 
scarcity induced by danger of capture at sea, salt and some other 
necessaries were excessively needed whenever the source of sup- 
ply lay outside of North Carolina. It was therefore resolved 
that the State should employ agents to go abroad and establish a 
trade between the State government and the Wesl [ndies. fCol- 
ouel Benjamin Hawkins, of the new county of Warren, with 
Governor Caswell and Robert Bignall, was elected for this highly 
responsible trust. lie was a remarkable man of a remarkable 
family. Educated at Princeton, he possessed the gift, rare at 
that day, of fluency in speaking the French language, and had 
for some time been on General Washington's staff, where his duties 
were principally those of interpreter and translator between the 
American chief and his foreign allies.]; Hi- last military ser- 
vice to the ( oiiiiiiander-in-ehiel* was at the battle of Monmouth. 

N'otk. -The above is the language of the act — but why apeak of Public 
Treasurers when no one Inn Memucan Hunt was Treasurer? There had been 
two to fulfil Mich duties before 177<'>. but since 1777 Mr. 1 1 nut had been alone 
in charge of North Carolina fiscal arrangements. It may be, by tin- terms "i 
the act, that much <>l' this fund went directly i" the Paymasters and Commis- 
saries of the army. 

[■Public Uts, page 287 ; Life of Iredell, vol. 1, page III. 
fWheeler, vol. II. page 127. 


Colonel Hawkins went to the Island of St. Eustatia to procure 
arms and munitions of war. As agent for North Carolina, he 
purchased heavily and freighted several vessels belonging t<> John 
Wright Stanly of New-Bern.* These, with their eostlv cargoes, 
were captured at sea by British cruisers. The result was ruinous 
to Stanly, who had been previously a man of large means. The 
State authorities refused all reparation and the unfortunate mer- 
chant brought suit against Colonel Hawkins, in which he was like- 
wise unsuccessful. t It does not appear how General Caswell 
participated in this new trust. The other Commissioner, Robert 
Bignall, was a merchant of character, and resided at Edenton. 

Active preparations were seen in forwarding the raising and 
equipment of eight thousand of the militia of North Carolina, 
which body of troops was assigned to the special command of 
General Caswell. The danger threatening South Carolina was 
felt by the wise and patriotic- men of that day to be equally men- 
acing to her northern neighbor; and even if that had not been 
the case, there has never been a time in the history of North 
Carolina, when her devoted people have not been lavish of blood 
and treasure in discharging their obligations to allies and friends. 
All of her veteran troops were at Charleston, besides a large force 
of militia, not included in those recently raised. Sir Henry 
Clinton had sailed from New York on the 28th of the preceding 
December with five thousand land troops, and upon his arrival on 
the coast near Charleston, he also withdrew from the fleet of Ad- 
miral Arbuthnot an additional force of two thousand marine-.: 
These, with the troops from Savannah, sent by Prevost, were 
landed upon the islands below the city, on February 1 1th. With 
overpowering numbers, he proceeded at his leisure to complete 
the investment of the doomed emporium of the South. The 
fleet got safely into the harbor on April 9th, and on that day a 
surrender was demanded of General Lincoln. This was refused, 
and the bombardment commenced and was kept up almost cease- 

'WhcH'k'r, vol. II, paui- {27. fStanly vs. Hawkins. 1st Haywood. 
JHolmes, page 1 12. 


lesslj until May 9th. Upon a second refusal to surrender on 
that day, a tremendous cannonade ensued, which only ended when 
the capitulation took place three days later. May L2th. 

The whole of North Carolina's Continental line was at one 
fell blow consigned to inactivity. They were prisoners of war 
and could not fire a gun until regularly exchanged. They bad 
left General Washington in November before, and had experi- 
enced unprecedented hardships on their long march from New- 
York to Charleston.* No one then living had seen weather of 
such .-everity in America. They constituted the very flower and 
bulk of the defenders of Charleston, and were only captured by 
the superior numbers and appliances of the enemy. Washing- 
ton had hut slight hope.- of resisting the great armament of Sir 
Henry ( 'linton,f and neither General Lincoln nor his troop- lost 
honor when they were forced to surrender. General Washing- 
ton learned from English sources of the great disaster on June 
1st. He at once addressed a letter to Major-General Robert 
Howe, commanding at West Point on the Hudson, apprising him 
of the fact and of the return of Clinton with the (hit. and 
warned him of a suspected design against the northern bulwark 
then entrusted to the brave keeping of that distinguished North 
( larolinian.J 

As second in command in the expedition which captured 
Charleston, came the Karl of Cornwallis. This was his second 
visit to the land of the palmettos. Four year- before, as com- 
mander of a large land force, he had looked on helplessly, while 
the licet <>f Sir Peter Parker had been beaten by Moultrie and 
his fort of logs. He was this time to remain long enough to be 
forever remembered, and was fully resolved to avenge the disas- 
ter of hi- first advent. He was at this time forty two year- of 
age. He was a man of great and undoubted honor and pos- 
sessed military talent- of a high order. He had shown brilliant 

Washington t" La Fayette, March 1st, 1780. 
(■Letter to General Greene, March 26th, 1780. 
[Washington's Writings, vol. VII, page 69. 


courage at Brandywine and was as just and humane as he was 
brave. Such had been his ardor ;is a friend of the colonies in 
1770, he, with three other young peers, protested in the House of 
Lords, along with Lord Camden, against the taxation of Amer- 
ica. He was opposed to Lord North's policy when hostilities be- 
gan, but did not follow the example of some others and resign 
his rank in the army, rather than wage war on the people In' 
knew to be wronged. This wise and capable commander was 
left by Sir Henry Clinton in command of the British army, and 
the latter, with his fleet, sailed back to New York to watch the 
motions of General Washington.* The American Generalissimo 
was no more wary in his movements than Sir Henry, and during 
all the years of his command in America, a supreme caution was 
observable in all dispositions of the main British army. 

Governor Nash and all others in authority in the State of 
North Carolina, were indescribably moved at the capture of the 
American force in Charleston. The Continentals there lost, con- 
stituted a very large proportion of all the available soldiers who 
had seen service and could be spared from States further north. 
The six veteran North Carolina Battalions and one thousand of 
the same State's militia, were included in the surrender and 
were the bulk of the force in General Lincoln's command. It 
now became urgent that some nucleus of such troops should be 
furnished, around which the militia could be collected. Raw 
levies could not be relied upon to face any considerable move- 
ment of Lord Corn wal lis into the interior. A French officer, 
Colonel Armand, the Marquis de la Roarie, was at Wilmington 
with two hundred troopers, on his way from the North. With 
him was Colonel William Washington and his force of Light 
Horse of about similar nunibers.f Colonel Buford, with a bat- 
talion of the Virginia Continentals, at the time of the Charleston 
capitulation, was approaching and had entered South Carolina, 
when Lieutenant-Colonel Bonastre Tarleton, with his formidable 

*General Washington's Letter t<> General Robert Bowe, June 1m. 1780. 
fJudge Iredell to Mrs. Iredell, May 28th, L780. 


legion, went to intercept bis retreat. This daring and successful 
partisan officer was to become famous in the South, and was the 
right arm of Lord Cornwallis in all hi> military movements. 
lie had not been regularly bred to arms, but bad left his law 
hooks and volunteered against the Americans upon the breaking 
cut of the war.* With \\\> command he had hurried from 
Charleston in quest of the unfortunate Buford. ( >n May 29th, 
he fell upon the unsuspecting Virginians at Waxhaw.and a bloody 
massacre was the result. The American.- were taken completely 
by surprise, though accompanied by a portion of Colonel Wash- 
ington's Light Horse. i In this bloody encounter, Captain John 
Stokes of Guilford county, North Carolina, participated with hi> 
company, and was horribly mutilated by the brutal troopers of 
Tarleton. One of his hand- was cul off and be was besides 
badly wounded in many places of his body.f In a fewminutes 
after the attack was made, one hundred and seventeen men lay 

dead upon the ground ami two hundred re were prisoners of 

war. while the British loss was only five killed and twelve 
wounded.: ( 'olonel Buford had started on his retreat upon hear- 
ing of the fall of Charleston, but had no dream of his danger until 
the gleam of Tarleton 's sabres flashed upon his startled eye-. The 
assailants had marched one hundred and live mile- in fifty-four 
hour- and found their victims completely off their guard. § It 
would thus -eem that watchfulness is a cardinal virtue under all 
circumstances in war. ('olonel Buford had more reason than 
General Ashe at Brier Creek, for relaxing the sternness of his 

outlook; yet he suffered a defeat which wa-a- -ad and complete 

a- that of John I'yle and hi- 'folic- a year later. This wa- the 

• ud feal of tin- kind on the part of ('olonel Tarleton since 

V . 1 1 . \V:i \li.-iu is on the border of North and South Carolina and is near 
the spol where Andrew Jackson was born. It was then considered a portion 
of North Carolina, but upon :i subsequent survey, became a part of South 
( larolina. 

Wheeler, vol. II. [>ag< 181. (-Judge Iredell to wife, < totober 12th, 1780. 
: I [olraes, page 1 12. 

1780. MAJOR DAVIE. 265 

his arrival in South Carolina. In the month of April, he had 
surprised and cut to pieces the South Carolina cavalry force of 
General Huger, at Monk's corner on Cooper River.* 

Earl Cornwallis was now commanding fully four thousand 
veteran British regulars. These were flushed with victory and 
not an armed body was visible in South Carolina to dispute their 
advance into that conquered State. At the news of Tarleton's 
advance, General Rutherford assembled nine hundred militia to 
dispute his way.f In the same quarter, Major William R. 
Davie was in the field with a troop of cavalry and two compa- 
nies of mounted infantry, which in fact constituted the only force 
anywhere to be seen in opposition to the triumphant invaders. 
Davie was one of the most splendid and knightly figures on the 
American continent. He was then fresh from his law books and 
but twenty-five years of age.f Tall, graceful and strikingly 
handsome, he had those graces of person which would have made 
him the favorite in the clanging lists of feudal days. To this 
he added elegant culture, thrilling eloquence and a graciousness 
of manner which was to charm in after days the gilded salons of 
Paris. His dauntless valor was supervised by a sleepless outlook 
against surprise. He had won high honor and was dangerously 
wounded at the stubborn battle of Stono, on June w 20th of 
the preceding year. Since then he had expended the whole 
of his estate in equipping at his own cost, the only organized 
body of troops now left to do battle in behalf of the cause he 
loved4 His presence was invaluable to the patriot cause. 
He was in just the position to overawe those settlements where 
the Tory influence abounded in his own State and at the same 
time he was fronting the invaders' march from the south. § 

$Note. — General Davie was born in Egremont, in England, bul came t<> 
America when five years old. lie married Sarah, the daughter of General 
Allen Jones. His uncle, Rev. William Richardson, was a distinguished Pres- 
byterian divine, who adopted him upon the death of hi- father. 

*Holmes, page 142. f Wheeler, vol. [I, page 189. 

^Governor Graham's Lecture, page L65. 


General Caswell id the east and General Rutherford in the 
west, were doing all that could be effected in collecting and 
mustering the eight thousand militia ordered l>v the Assembly. 
Ten thousand men had at once rushed t<» the field in the Tory 
rising and threatened invasion of I77<i, bu1 a very different 
state <>f affairs now existed. North Carolina had greatly exerted 
her strength during the previous years in the large number of 
men sent to South Carolina. Her material resources had been 
crippled to furnish them. Hundreds of the men sent to that 
unhealthy region had returned with ruined constitutions and 
broken spirits to die among- their neighbors, who were being 
enrolled for an expedition to that same unhappy clime. With 
an exhausted treasury and this great moral and material dis- 
couragement, there was still far less trouble in obtaining men 
than in arming and subsisting them after enrollment. The whole 
correspondence of the period -hows a surprising scarcity of every- 
thing needed for the subsistence of armies, both in North and 
South Carolina.! Lord Cornwallis had been halted at Camden 
by this very trouble, and was then waiting for supplies to be 
brought tip from Charleston before he could make a further 
advance on ( lharlotte. 

Such was the condition of affairs in the earlier days of dune. 
1780, when General Rutherford, then encamped ten miles north- 
east of Charlotte, learned that Lieutenant-Colonel John Moore 
of Hamilton's Tory Regiment, had embodied at Ramsours' 
Mill, a considerable force of Loyalists from the surrounding 
country. This place is within sight of the modern village of 
Lincolnton. It was of prime importance that such a movement 
should We at once crushed, l>ut the warv hero of the Cherokee 
expedition recognized the importance of watching the British at 
Camden. To attack Moore at Ramsour's would have taken him 
forty miles from his line of defence. lie therefore, learning 
that Lord Rawdon, who commanded the British advance at the 

Governor Graham's Lecture, page 156. 
General Washington's Writings, vol. VII. 


Waxhaws, had retired to Hanging- Rock, himself pushed for- 
ward ten miles to Mallard Creek. On the evening of June 
14th, General Rutherford issued orders to Colonel Francis Locke 
of Rowan, Major David Wilson of Mecklenburg, and Captains 
Falls and Brandon, to raise their respective commands and attack 
the Tory camp.* 

Colonel Locke received his orders and by the 19th, Major 
Joseph McDowell, Major D. Wilson, and the Captains already 
mentioned, had joined him with enough men to make up a total 
of four hundred. They encamped that night on Mountain 
Creek, sixteen miles from Ramsour's. These gallant and im- 
mortal patriots that night held a council of war, in which they 
determined, with full knowledge of the fact that their enemies 
were more than threefold stronger in numbers, to attack them at 
dawn of the next day. Having come to this resolution, they 
resumed their march, and reached a spot one mile from the mill 
at day-break. The only orders for the attack were that Mc- 
Dowell, Brandon and Falls, with their mounted men, should 
charge and the infantry were to follow. 

The Tories were encamped on a hill three hundred yards east 
of Ramsour's Mill. This ridge lies along the southern ed^e of 
the stream forming the mill-pond. Colonel Locke and his men 
approached from the north and when they reached the pickets, 
they were assured that no attack was being expected from that 
quarter. The Tories at the outset fired and fled. The Whig 
horsemen charged in pursuit, and wheeling to the right, out of 
the road, they fired upon the Tories. These, seeing their assail- 
ants were so few, fired in turn upon the cavalry and repelled their 
attack. The advancing infantry of the Whigs opened as the 
light-horse went back, but pressed forward and engaged the enemy 
along the course of the road. The Tories soon got well into 
action and recovered from the first panic of the attack, but they 
were forced back up the hill in spite of the superiority of num- 

*General Joseph Graham, in Wheeler, vol. II, page 229. 


bers, uniil they gained ground beyond the ridge, where they were 
sheltered from much <>i' the effectiveness of the Whig fire, by 
reason of the interposing crest of the hill. The assailants here 
till hack to avoid this advantage t" tin- foes, who pursued half 
down the slope. At this instant, Captain Hardin led a fresh 

party of Whigs int" the field, who, under cover of a finer, 

opened a galling tire upon the right flank of the Royalists. This 
lucky movement decided the dav. The Tories still fought obsti- 
nately, but were driven up the hill again. Bui certain portions 
of the crest were held by their assailants and though the contest 

was narrowed down, in a great many instance-, to < ibats with 

clubbed rifles, the obstinate heroes of Colonel Locke persisted in 
holding their ground. In this way the left wing of the Royal- 
ists having been thoroughly beaten ;tt close quarters, and the cen- 
tre being also heavily pressed, there was a general retreat toward 
the mill-pond, under a cross-fire from Hardin and the Whig cen- 
tre. In this way they were driven from the field and across the 
mill stream. 

A flag nl' truce was sent in by tin Tories from the position 
they had assumed across the mill, asking a suspension of hostili- 
ties, to bury the dead. Colonel Locke, through Major James 
Rutherford, made answer that he gave them ten minutes in which 
to surrender and that such arrangements would he then made; 
hut upon the return of the flag only fifty Tories could he found, 
and they incontinently tied.* 

These men were neighbors, and many of them had been friends. 
The only distinguishing badges were green pine twigs on the 
Tory's hat- and slips of white paper in those of the Whigs. 

Seventy men lay dead upon the field. Of these, live were Whig 

Captains, and four Tory officers of the same grade. Two hun- 
dred men were wounded and fifty of the Loyalists were taken 
prisoner-. They were all North ( 'aroliniaii-, and -lied their blood 

on opposite Bides of a contest, which was to he prolonged by the 
very fact that such differences of opinion existed in America. 

•Note. This account is condensed from thai of General Joseph Graham, 

win. was en tin field two hours after ili<- battle el..-, d. 


Historians of the United States who give pages to Boston Tea- 
parties and General Putnam's flight down the stone steps, have 
strangely ignored this most brilliant and important victory.* It 
was as daring as the attack on Stony Point and was only Its- 
effective than King's Mountain, from the physical impossibility of 
four hundred men surrounding thirteen hundred. 

The battle of Ramsour's Mill occurred on the 20th of June. 
Lord Rawdon had been posted on Waxhaw Creek, thirty miles 
south of Charlotte. His Lordship having retired to Hanging 
Rock on the way to Camden, soon continued his march to the 
latter place. General Rutherford learned of this movement on 
the 18th, and at once started a messenger to Colonel Locke to 
apprise him of his determination to move with the eight hundred 
men there assembled, against the Tory camp. This message mis- 
carried, and the main body of the Whigs reached the scene of 
conflict after the battle had been fought and the whole Royalist 
force scattered to the winds. Captains Falls, Dobson, Smith, 
Bowman and Armstrong were slain, on the part of the assailants, 
while Captains Houston and McKissick were wounded. t The 
numbers disabled were about equally divided. 

General Rutherford left Major Davie to watch the enemy at 
Camden and moved with the infantry against Colonel Samuel 
Bryan, who was engaged on the forks of Yadkin in a similar 
undertaking with that which had been so completely frustrated 
further west.]: Bryan did not await the shock of arms, but fled 
the country, finding refuge in the camps of the King's forces 
now so near at hand, as to be easily reached by small parties. 

Major Davie took position on the north side of Waxhaw 
Creek, near the State line, and was there re-inforced by Major 
Crawford with a battalion of South Carolinians, a party of 
thirty-five Catawba Indians and the portion of Mecklenburg 

*Governor Graham's Lecture, vol. II. page 190. 
fWheeler, vol. II, page 'l-Vl. 
X Wheeler, vol. II. page 190. 


militia commanded by Colonel Higgins. Hi- 6rs1 exploit was 
the capture of a convoy of provisions, spirits ami clothing, <>n 
it- way to the British post at Flat Rock. The escort being 
captured, the wagons and contents were destroyed, and the 
prisoners, mounted on the horses just taken, were moved in rapid 
retreat. Captain Petit was sent forward to reconnoitre a lane 
where Davie expected an ambuscade; and that officer having 
reported that no danger was ahead, the command was soon fired 
upon from the suspected spot, and the advance under Captain 
William Polk disordered in the darkness of the midnight. The 
loss of life was confined to the British prisoners, who were riding 
two niton each horse. Major Davie avoided further loss upon 
his retreat, and his only casualties were the wounding of the 
careless Petit, Lieutenant Elliot killed, ami two privates di- 
al tied.* 

Colonel Sumter, with his South Carolina force, and Colonel 
Irwin, with three hundred Mecklenburg militia, about the end of 
.I uK', joined Major Davie. They determined on an attack upon 
the British posts at Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock. These 
were on opposite sides of Watcree River, and but lour and a 
half miles apart. Rocky Mount is on the west side of the Stream 
and thirtv miles from Camden, while Hanging Rock is directly 
on the road from that town to Charlotte. ( lolonel Turnbull, with 
one hundred and fifty New York Royalists and Southern refu- 
gees, held the former. t It was defended by two block house-, a 
hoop-hold building and an abattis.J < lolonels Sumter and Irwin 
were to attack this stronghold, while Major Davie should sim- 
ultaneously assail the other. Sumter on the next day made a 
most gallant hut unsuccessful attack, and was repulsed after the 
loss of brave Colonel Andrew Neal, and many others. i; 

Major Davie, with forty mounted riflemen, and an equal 
number of dragoons, approached Hanging Rock at 10 o'clock in 

the same day. He soon ascertained that three companies of 

Life of General Davie, Hubbard, page 20, fStedman, vol. 11, page 201. 
^Tarleton'fi Campaigns, page 94. JWheeler, vol. II. page 17). 


mounted infantry, who were returning from some expedition, 
had halted at a house near by the fortified post. This house was 
in plain view of those at Hanging Rock, but the daring cavalier 
resolved to cut them off in sight of their friends. He divided 
his small command and ordered the riflemen to charge, while he 
with the dragoons should intercept the fugitives. The scheme 
worked to perfection. Upon receiving the unexpected lire, the 
British broke in the direction of the dragoons awaiting them, 
when another deadly discharge drove them back upon the origi- 
nal assailants. They were thus surrounded and cut to pieces 
in a few minutes, while the long roll was plainly heard calling 
to arms the astonished garrison. There was no time to take pris- 
oners, and Davie, gathering up sixty horses as his booty, swept 
like a whirlwind from the scene of his bloody onset. He left 
the field strewn with his foes, but not a man of his was slain in 
the attack. 

The affair just related occurred in the last days of July. On 
August 5th the same commanders assembled their troops at 
Landford, on the Catawba River. The North Carolinians under 
Davie and Irwin numbered five hundred, while Colonel Sumter, 
after his recent losses, still mustered three hundred effective men. 
It was determined to renew the attack upon Hanging Rock. It 
was ascertained that about five hundred men constituted its garri- 
son. These were composed of one hundred and sixty of Tarle- 
ton's infantry, portions of Brown's Regulars and Hamilton's 
and Bryan's North Carolina Tories. The wdiole was commanded 
by Major Garden of the British Army. Brown's Regulars were 
posted on the right of the encampment, the men of Tarleton in 
the center and Hamilton and Bryan's on the left. The com- 
mand was given by the Whigs to Colonel Sumter, as he was the 
ranking officer present. As commander, he suggested that a 
general and simultaneous attack should be made along the front 
of the different camps, and that they should make the attack on 
horse-back. All agreed to this plan but Major Davie, win* sug- 
gested the propriety of dismounting before beginning the attack, 
and to thus avoid the confusion incident to dismounting and 


securing horses under fire He was overruled, Inn abundantly 
vindicated in the result. He commanded on the right, where hie 
own people and those of Major Bryan were posted, ( lolonel I rw in 
the centre and Colonel Hill the left, where the South Carolina 
troops were stationed. In making the attack shortly after day- 
break, l>v the ignorance <>r timidity of their guides, they were 
led so far to the left that they only -truck the camp of the North 
( larolina Tories. These, attacked in fronl and Hank, were routed 
with great slaughter, and the survivors tied for refuge to the 
adjoining camp of the Legion I n fan try. This corps, with some of 
Hamilton's companies posted behind a fence, opened a fire that 

checked the onset for a ment, but the assailants pressed on and 

the crowd of fugitives was increased by those of the centre camp 
seeking that of the Regulars. A portion of these had almost 
changed the fortunes of the day at this juncture. They had occu- 
pied a wood- between the Tory and Legi ;amps, and from it 

poured a heavy tire upon the militia as they were being re-formed 
from the disorder of pursuit. Hut their fire was returned 
from behind friendly trees, in such a manner that soon disabled 
all the officers of the British Regulars, and they laid down their 
arm-. The remainder of the Regulars now retreated to the 
middle of the cleared ground, where they formed a square for 
defence, and doggedly awaited the fresh assault of the victorious 
Whigs. The rout ami plunder of so many camps, had by this 
time, greatly demoralized the assailants. By great effort-. ( lolonel 
Sumter collected two hundred of the men besides Major Davie's 
dragoons. With these he commenced to fire upon the British 
square. A.bout this time a large party consisting of Tarleton's 

and Hamilton's men, and other Tories, were -ecu rallying on the 

opposite side of the camp, but these were easily dispersed by 
a charge of Major Davie's dragoons. The distance of the 
British square, ami the fire of the two field pieces protecting it, 
led in the verj sensible resolution of plundering the camp.- and 
then retiring. A- Major Davie was returning from hi- late 
charge, some of Tarleton's calvary came in sight, l>nt retired upon 
seeing the Whig dragoons of Davie charging in their direction. 


A retreat was becoming momentarily more necessary, as many 
of the men were becoming drunken from the plundered commissary 
store in the centre camp. Others were in no condition for battle 
from the loads of plunder they bore, while others had entirely ex- 
pended their ammunition. After an hour spent in paroling pris- 
oners, spoiling the camps and preparing litters for the wounded, 
the militia were put into line of march, with Major Davie and 
his dragoons covering the rear. 

Captains Read of North Carolina, and McClure of South 
Carolina, were killed, while Colonel Hill and Major Wynn of 
the latter State, were wounded, as were Captain Craighead, Lieu- 
tenant Flencher and Ensign McLain. Sixty-two of Tarleton's 
men were killed and wounded and a severe loss was inflicted upon 
the Tories of Colonel Samuel Bryan's command. These were 
the men who had been recently sought by General Rutherford in 
the forks of the Yadkin. 

In addition to these exploits of Major Davie and Colonel Ir- 
win, there were other North Carolinians who were alike brave 
and indefatigable at this gloomy period of American history. 
Colonel Charles McDowell of Burke, with his younger brother, 
Major Joseph, in the month of June, joined Colonel Isaac 
Shelby and John Sevier of Washington county, now Tennessee, 
Colonel Clarke of Georgia, for an attack upon Pacolet in South 
Carolina. This was a strongly fortified post, commanded by 
Captain Patrick Moore, a prominent Loyalist. Ninety-four 
Tories were captured with the work, besides a considerable store 
of arms and munitions.* 

Colonel McDowell detached Shelby to watch the movements of 
Major Patrick Ferguson, who was at this time in the same region 
embodying the Loyalists. On August the 1st, he fell in with the 
advance of this distinguished Scotch officer at Cedar Spring, but 
Ferguson's force of six hundred men were re-inforced during the 
action, and Shelby, after a spirited contest, withdrew in good 
order, with twenty prisoners, two of whom were English officers.f 

•■National Portrait Gallery; Life of Shelby. f Wheeler, vol. II. page 57. 


Colonel McDowell learned on August 18th that five hundred 
Tories had assembled at Musgrove's Mill, on the south Bide of 
Enoree River. He at once sent Colonels Shelby, Williams and 
("lark to attack them. They found thai Major Ferguson lay 
between them and the < »l >"j<<t of their attack. B\ hard riding 
that nighl they went around and avoided the force of the famous 
Scotchman, and at day-break -truck the enemy's patrol, which 
was ont in force. A skirmish ensued, which ended in the 
retreal of the Loyalists. In advancing upon the main body a 
friendly Whig, who resided in the vicinity, hut was not in arm-. 
informed Colonel Shelly that six hundred regular Baitish troops 
and the Queen's American Regiment from New York, under 
Colonel done-, who were marching to join Ferguson, had the 
night before reached Muserove's Mill and were then there in addi- 
tion to the five hundred Tories they were seeking to disperse. 
Colonel Shelby and his force were in a terrible dilemma. Ad- 
vance and retreat were both equally hopeless. But this brave 
man was equal to the emergency. He at once threw up a breast- 
work of logs and brush, and -cut forward Captain Inman with 
twenty-five picked men to skirmish with the enemy and thus 
draw them upon the ambuscade. They were soon heard approach- 
ing, and Inman boldly fired into their ranks and then fell back. 
The enemy were completely deceived and fell into the snare so 
cunningly laid for their ruin. As they marched in disorder 
upon what they supposed the whole American force, they were 
completely checked ami stood still to be slaughtered by the men 
undercover, until they retreated in utter rout. They were pur- 
sued from the field with greal loss to themselves, but -lew unfor- 
tunately the brave Captain Inman, who was so largely instru- 
mental in their defeat. Thus with inferior number- and in an 
apparently hopeless position, the foe was beaten and lost sixty- 
three killed and one hundred and sixty wounded and prisoners 
at a cost of four men to the victors. 

Win eler, vol. 1 1, page 58. 


General Washington had been beset for sometime by General 
Benedict Arnold and his friends, to grant Arnold the command 
at West Point. General Howe had given the Commander-in- 
Chief entire satisfaction. General Philip Schuyler and Robert 
R. Livingston, at that time members of the Continental Con- 
gress, insisted that in case of an emergency, Arnold could 
be more effective with the Xew York militia.* It is asserted 
that General Howe's old enemies in South Carolina and 
Georgia added their efforts to aid the base and scheming villain, 
who was thus striving to gain the command of a fortification, in 
order that he might betray it for British gold. General Wash- 
ington acceded to these requests, and on August 3rd, General 
Howe gave place to the traitor and assumed command of a divis- 
ion on the east side of the Hudson. t On the same day, famous 
Thaddeus Kosciusco, who had been engaged as engineer in con- 
structing the works at West Point, was offered the position of 
Chief Engineer in the Southern army, in place of General Du- 
portail, captured at Charleston. This celebrated patriot of Po- 
land accepted the place, and soon came to Hillsboro, in North 

Upon the fall of Charleston, Major-General Horatio Grates 
had been designated by the General Congress as a fit successor of 
General Lincoln, who became a prisoner of war at that unfortu- 
nate time. The overthrow of General Burgoyne, at Saratoga, 
had given General Gates great reputation in America. In France, 
where the military art was more fully understood, the battle of 
Germantown was considered of far more importance, though in 
that affair General Washington received a bloody repulse.;] 
Count Vergennes saw, from the effect of the attack upon the 
British left, in which General Nash was slain, that an army had 
been created, which could, in the future, face the English in open 

*General Washington to Livingston, .June 29th. 

fLife of Iredell, vol: I, page 407. 

^Livingston/to Washington, June -Jii: Washington's Writings, vol. VII, 

page 1 •">'.'. 



< t mil >:it on fair terms. While at Saratoga. Burooyne was like 
some incautioii- lion, entangled rather by hi> own folly than the 

bravery of his adversaries. General Grates was, in truth, an 

ancient martinet, who had, of necessity, learned inneh of mili- 
tary routine by long experience in camp-. Inn was still devoid of 
native ability, and now added the infirmities of age to an incur- 
able vanity.* He and his friends imagined that he wa- invin- 
cible, and not a lew had been anxious to replace the majestic wis- 
dom of Washington by the emptiness and folly of the blundering 
old fossil, who would soon have mined American hopes. Gen- 
eral Washington must have known his incompetency, and it might 
appear strange that he should have suffered such a man to assume 
tin' great responsibilities involved in the conduct of the Southern 
campaign. But any one who know- the history of that day, 
must see that if the great chief had withheld the appointment 
and suggested the truth, it would have appeared the out-growth of 
jealousy. Congress had insisted upon Gates, and General Wash- 
ington at once ordered him to his post. 

General Caswell assembled the militia of North Carolina in 
one general camp, at Cheraw Hill, in South Carolina, on the 1st 
day of August.! This point is just across the State line, and 
i- a little south of a line drawn from Charlotte t<> Wilmington; 
beiny; sixty-five miles from the former, and a hundred and sis 
from the latter place. It wa- beyond the Scotch settlements of 
Cumberland, and thus interposed a strong patriot force between 
the hot-bed of Toryism and the line of British posts through 
South Carolina. The force there collected amounted to about 
eight thousand men, and was divided into three brigades. The 
men of the west were under Brigadier-General Griffith Ruther- 
ford, those of the east, General Isaac Gregory, while General 

John Butler of Orange, c manded the levies from the central 

portion- of tin' State.]: The jail- being considered insecure, a con- 
siderable number of highly obnoxious Tories were kept under 

I incroft, vol. VIII, page 80. fOLife of Caswell in Univertity Magamne. 

tl/il'e nf Iredell, vol. I. page 1-7. 

1780. BATTLE OF CAMDEN. 277 

guard in this camp, awaiting trial in the Superior Courts, in which 
tribunals Judge Iredell was then Attorney-General. 

General Gates entered North Carolina in the month of July. 
On the 29th, he reached the camp of the brave and unfortunate 
Baron De Kalbe, situated upon Deep River. This was in Cum- 
berland county, seventy miles northeast of General Caswell's 
camp at Cheraw. He there found a battalion of Continentals 
from Delaware, and others from Maryland. These were in- 
fantry. There were also at the same post, Colonel Armand's 
legion (light-horse), and three companies of artillery. 

General Gates remained at Deep River two days, and then 
started on the road for Camden, South Carolina, distant one hun- 
dred and fifteen miles. He was deaf to entreaty and counsel, 
and would neither brook delay nor turn from his proposed route, 
which lay through a desolate region of pine barrens.* On the 
next day he was overtaken by Lieutenant-Colonel Porterfield. 
with a re-inforcement of one hundred Virginia infantry. On 
the 5th day of his march, he was joined by General Caswell with 
a portion of the Xorth Carolina militia. At Rugeley's, General 
Stevens of Virginia brought in seven hundred men of that 

On the loth of August, as the night came on, they had reached a 
point near the town of Camden, where Lord Cornwallis lay with 
his army. General Gates was seeking to surprise this force by a 
sudden and unexpected attack. Colonel Otho H. Williams, then 
detached from the command of his Maryland Continental- and 
acting as Adjutant-General of the Southern army, stated the act- 
ual force present, at three thousand six hundred and sixty-three. 
At 10 o'clock in the evening, General Gate- resumed his march 
and pressed forward in a manner that showed an utter reckless- 
ness of the fact that Lord Cornwallis and his army were close 
by, and were worthy of respect as foes. Major Davie was in tin 
same neighborhood, but had no communication with General 

*Life of Iredell, vol. 1, page 4-~><>. 


dates, when his cavalry and knowledge would have been inval- 
uable. Colonel Annand's mounted men, instead of being sent 

forward miles ahead, to ascertain the Mate of affairs, were march- 
ing so close iii front, that at *_' o'clock in the morning of the 
Kith, when the advance guards of Gates and ( 'ornwalli.- collided. 

the shock was so violent and unexpected, that Colonel Ar- 

mand's whole troop was disordered and recoiled upon the Mary- 
land Continentals. These, in turn, gave way and there was 
danger of a general stampede, until Porterfield, Armstrong and 
the North Carolina Light Infantry pushed forward and attacked 
the enemy on the right and left of the road, and arrested their 
further movement. Both armies baited and in the morning pre- 
pared lor battle. The wounded were borne to the rear, and tin- 
lines of battle formed.* 

Everything directed General Gates to a speedy and rapid re- 
treat. He had failed to surprise the enemy. He was before him 
unmistakably in force almost if not quite as large as his own. 
Cornwallis had a large body of veterans, while more than two- 
thirds of Gates' own men had never been under fire. The infatu- 
ated old man would listen to nothing, and placing his few Conti- 
nentals on the right win«r, left the centre and left entirely to be 
held by the militia. Day was soon seen in the dappled skies to 
the east, and with the earliest light, Lord ( unwallis sent in his 
sixteen hundred regulars upon the militia. These men. as a gen- 
eral thing, fled before the bayonet charge, but there were bril- 
liant exceptions to this wretched flight of the majority. Seeing 
the brave constancy of the ( lontinentals, posted on the right. ( Jen- 
eral Gregory's brigade fired several rounds before retiring.f ( !ol- 
onel Henry Dixon, late of the Firsl North Carolina Continen- 
tal Battalion, now held his regiment of North Carolina militia 
as firmly to the front as any veterans on the field, though their 
left flank was left uncovered by the flight of the other militia. 
They stubbornly kepi their ground throughout the battle, and 

I. id' of [redell, ro\. I. page 156. 
^Governor Nash to Willie Jones, September, 1780. 

1780. GATES DEFEATED. 279 

when General Snmllwood brought up the reserves ami covered 
their exposed flank, the enemy was forced to fall back. 

In no battle of the war was such stubborn fi<>htin<>- seen as 
was the case with the handful of brave men, who did not run 
away, but stood their ground at the battle of Camden. The 
battle was really fought by the Maryland, Delaware and Vir- 
ginia Continentals, assisted by Colonel Dixon and other men 
of Gregory's brigade. Out of this small force, nine hundred 
were left dead on the field, beside the wounded.* General Cas- 
well in vain struggled to rally his militia. General Rutherford, 
bravely striving to redeem the tarnished reputation of his com- 
mand, was taken. f General Sumner also displayed great brav- 
erv, as did Baron De Kalbe, who lost his life. Colonels Geddv 
and Lockhart of North Carolina, were among the prisoners. It 
was a fell blow upon the hopes of Southern deliverance. Two 
thousand men were killed, wounded or prisoners of war. All 
the artillery, transportation and military stores of the army were 
lost. The Continentals engaged, had maintained the struggle 
until much the greater portion of them were dead upon the Held 
or disabled by wounds. 

The Earl of Cornwallis must have enjoyed a double pleasure 
in inflicting this defeat upon the victor of Burgoyne at Saratoga. 
General Gates' conduct, both before and during the battle, excited 
the profoundest disgust, both in civil and military circles. \ He 
not only persisted in pushing his men into battle against the 
remonstrances of his officers, but having compelled them to tight, 
left the field early in the action, with the fugitive militia, leaving 
the Continentals and their brave supporters, who at the time of 
his departure, were driving the enemy before them, to be attacked 
in flank and ruined for want of timely orders to retire from 
a hopeless contest. As it was, six hundred of them left the field 
in good order, and by their supreme bravery, secured safety in 

* Holmes, page 242. 

fGovernor Graham's Lecture, pages liil and L62. 

J.Judge Iredell to wife, September 28th, 1780. 


retreat, even at that apparently hopeless juncture. In addition 
to the above, General Gates gave no orders for securing bis bag- 
gage and stores, and thus most wantonly lost them. Colonel 
Annaiul's corps suffered worst of all, and that brave and accom- 
plished officer was violent in his complaints of the way in which 
he had been sacrificed. Baron De Kalbe died like a true hero, 
and was another of those generou> foreigners, who were giving 
their lives to the great cause of human freedom. ( lount Pulaski 
had fallen the year before at Stono, and the Marquis de La Payette 
was just restored from the dangerous wound he had received at 
Brandy wine. The British loss in this important battle was three 
hundred and twenty-live men.f 

General Gates left the field, and the only orders he then 
gave, were that the routed army should rendezvous at Hillsboro, 
in North Carolina.} To that town he rode as if engaged in a 
steeple chase. It is said he made the two hundred and thirty 
miles in seventy-five hours. Shortly after leaving the field he 
met Major Davie at the head of his famous corps of light-horse, 
which was hastening from Rugeley's Mills, where it had 
expected to meet the army. General Gates confirmed the story 
already learned from a runaway militia-man, and advised 
an immediate retreat to Charlotte. Major Davie at oner dis- 
patched a courier to inform Colonel Sumter of the defeat, and 
to warn him of the danger. This brave and accomplished officer, 
like Davie, was marching to join General Grates with one hun- 
dred Continentals and seven hundred militia, and had with him 
two brass pieces of ordnance. He was generally noted for activity 
and discretion, but a strange inertness came upon his movements. 
He had the only organized command of any size now in the 
South, and should have made every exertion to save it. Vet. 
he loitered on the way, sleeping all night and making but eight 
miles a day; until on the 1 9th of A.UgU8t, Tarleton, whom 

Judge [redell to lii- wife, September 28th, L780. 
; Lite of [redell, vol. I. page 157. 
^Governor Graham'a Lecture, page 162. 

1780. SUMTER'S DEFEAT. 28] 

Davit' knew would be upon him, swooped like an eagle, upon 
the besotted men of South Carolina, and scattered them to the 
four winds, without even the show of resistance. Sumter was 
asleep under a wagon when the legion came up, and hardly 
escaped with his life. Without hat, coat, or saddle, he ned 
on the bare-back of his horse. In this sad plight, and utterly 
unattended, he rode into the camp of his friend Davie at 

"Wheeler, vol. II, page 195. 



A . I>. 17 80 


Defenceless aspect of North and South Carolina in view of Lord I ornwalliB 1 
intended invasion of the former— Governor Rutledge rallies from his former 
despondency North Carolina girds up her loins— Force in band to meet 
the British — General W. L. Davidson Assembly meets at Hillsboro — Legis- 
lation—Board of War— < rovexnor Nash and the Assembly disagree ' reneral 
Smallwood— Gates at Hillsboro is superceded by Nathaniel Green— His 
traits and services —He finds < renerals Sumter and Davidson at < harlot;. 
Cornwallis alter the Battle of Oamden— He moves forward -Governor 
.Martin and his accompaniments — Ferguson sent on a parallel line ol 
invasion further to the west— Davie defeats the foe at Wahab's farm 
Brilliant affair at Charlotte— The buzzing of the Mecklenburg hornets 
< reorge Graham and the British repulse at Mclntyre's — I blond Ferguson at 
hay— His appeals for help against the mountain men— He retreats, is over- 
taken and crushed at King's Mountain— Effects of the victory— Cornwall^ 
retreats— General Washington sends re-inforcements to General Greene— 
Thaddeus Kosciusco, Baron Steuben and Colonel Henry I.e.— North Caro- 
lina places more troops in the field than can be subsisted -Generals Allen 

.(ones and [saac < rregory are turned back and their forces dMianded — Marion 

is worsted by Tarleton— Sumter beats off Tarleton at Ninety-Sia I K neral 
Leslie at Norfolk creates alarm in Albemarle The greatness of a common 
danger produces a return of concord to the different parties of North Carolina 

The Karl of Cornwallia probably expected an easy time in his 

contemplated invasi< 1' North Carolina. Sooth Carolina and 

( reorgia were completely powerless for resistance. The men who 
had gathered under Colonel Sumter were all dispersed or .-lain. 
and the cautious Marion was hiding faraway iii the swamps oi 
Bladen in our own State. In that Barae Commonwealth, Gov- 
ernor Rutledge had soughl refuge, and was at Hillsboro to con- 
cerl with the military and civil authorities for the deliverance of 
hisconquered people. In a moment of weakness two years be- 

Judge Iredell to his wife, October 8th, 1780. 


fore he had offered that South Carolina should become neutral 
in the bloody struggle.* He had already atoned for that mis- 
take, by patriotism and that high devotion to the general good, 
which in after years culminated in such usefulness and fame, as 
belong to the close of well-spent lives. To North Carolina the 
disaster at Camden was blank and appalling. Yet there was 
" no paling of cheeks — no trembling of nerves — no retreat of 
cowardly blood to the heart,"f It seemed that this people, who 
always exceeded the demands made on them for men and means, 
only exerted themselves for the result of their efforts to be swal- 
lowed up in blundering mismanagement. General Lincoln had 
lost all the troops at Charleston, and now Gates, in less than a 
month after assuming command, had scattered the large militia 
levies so laboriously gathered at Cheraw. These things were 
dispiriting and trying to the best of tempers, but North Caro- 
lina has ever been patient in affliction, and slow to feel resent- 
ment. There was no faltering in the support of the cause of 
America. The troops already in the field were hurried to Char- 
lotte, and fresh levies of the militia at once ordered for the same 

General Caswell reached Charlotte August 17th. He at once 
informed Governor Nash that the regiments of Colonel Sea well 
of Halifax, Jarvis of Edenton, and Pasteur of New-Bern, were 
still intact, from the fact that they were not at the battle of Cam- 
den, and were then on their way to the new rendezvous.^; He had 
called out the militia of Mecklenburg, Rowan and Lincoln, and 
was confident "of a formidable camp in a few days." A little 
later Governor Nash wrote to Willie Jones, "Our zeal and spirit 
rise with our difficulties; drafts are nearly at an end, our men 
yield to the necessity of the times, and turn out to serve with 
willing hearts." Davie and his troopers at the Waxhaws were 
watching the road to Camden, and Generals Sumner and David- 

*Holmes, page 138. fr,..). McRee in Life of Iredell. 

JLife of Iredell, vol. I, page 358. 



son were extremely useful in mustering and training the fresh 
levies df militia. General William Lee Davidson was one of the 
noblest of the patriots, who in thai day illustrated the cause thev 
loved. He was of the Scotch-Irish stock, who peopled that por- 
tion of Western North Carolina, so favorable to the American 
cause. He had been educated at the Queen's Museum in Char- 
lotte, and had gone to the North with General Nash/ae Major of 
the Fourth Battalion of the North Carolina Continental line. 
He was Lieutenant-Colonel when the Ninth ( larolina troops were 
sent south with General Lincoln to Charleston. He was given 


a leave of absence on the way, to visit his family, fnuii whom 
he had been separated for three year-; and by this circumstance 
escaped capture at the capitulation of General Lincoln. He was 
a man of too much nobility and devotion to remain inactive 
while thus separated from bis command; in command of the 
militia, he had been in active service against the Tories. In a 
severe engagement with them at Colson's Mill, he had received 
a dangerous wound in the body, from which he had just recovered 
at the period now reached. He was a young, gifted and accom- 
plished soldier.* He had won the commendation of General 
Washington by his bravery on the field, and had been conspicu- 
ous at each of the bloody conflicts witnessed at Brandy wine, 
(Jermantown and Monmouth. With such personal qualities and 
experience he was invaluable to the men who knew and loved 
him, in those stern western households, denounced by Colonel 
Tarleton as the most disloyal in America. 

The Assembly met at Hillsboro, on September 5th. They 
passed acts levying a special provision tax for the support of the 
war. for raising money on loan for immediate use, and for re- 
straining any impressment or other interference with vehicles 
employed in hauling -alt.t Then, as in the late war between 
the States, salt wa- being manufactured on the coast. Disaster 
in the field always bned- trouble to civil rulers. There i> no 

^Governor Graham's Lecture, page 163, 
fPablic A.i-. pages "J'.'-J. ■!•■'■'• and 294. 

1780. THE BOARD OF WAR. 285 

greater icouoclasm than military defeat. Governor Nash did not 

escape the usual fate in this respect. The Legislature established 
what was called the Board of War, consisting of Colonel Alex- 
ander Martin of Guilford, John Penn of Granville and Oroon- 
dates Davis of Halifax.* Of these, Colonel Martin alone had 
any military experience and his was very limited; for though he 
had succeeded General Howe in command of the Second North 
Carolina Battalion, he had always attended the numerous sessions 


of the Legislature, and in this way had seen but little of the 
war. The large levies of men, and issues of money, necessarily 
involved great labor in those who had charge of the books and 
accounts. There was trouble between Governor Nash and the 
Assembly on this score, f No one dreamed of his being corrupt, 
but some insinuated he was careless as to the vouchers, and that 
confusion would result. Thus it was that they trenched upon his 
authority as commander-in-chief by putting Caswell over the 
militia, and now still more violently intruded upon his rights by 
the erection of the Board of War. A very high authority has 
praised the wisdom of this military committee,! but divided 
counsels never prospered in war, and to General Nathaniel Greene 
and not the Board of .War, was due the wisdom of subsequent 
military management in North Carolina. General Washington 
and his able southern Lieutenant gave great and ceaseless atten- 
tion to the conduct of aifairs in North Carolina about this time.§ 
After the battle of Camden and the subsequent surprise by 
Tarleton of Sumter's command, Lord Cornwallis remained at th« 

^Xote. — This unconstitutional and novel body was greatly derided in the 
army. Colonel Davie, especially, was profuse in liis expressions of scorn ami 
ridicule: "Paddy Martin, a warrior of great fame; Penn, only lit to amuse 
children, and Oroondates Davis, who knew nothing but the game of whist." 
It was ;i common thing to sneer at Colonel Martin's courage, and the two others 
had never even served as privates in the army. 

f Jones' Defence, page 313. 

^Governor Graham in Ins Lecture, page 1' 

^Washington's Writings, vol. VI. 


Boene of his recent victory until the 8th day of September, when 
he moved forward with the confident assurance of the easy sub- 
jugation of North Carolina. 31 There was uoarmy there to oppose 
him and he supposed that before ( tongress, with all its delays, could 

replace the force he had so recently broken, he could easily occupy 
a large portion of the undefended territory. With his soldiers 
were adventitious aid.-, from which he expected to wield a large 
influence upon the minds of the people, hitherto in rebellion 
against the King. In his train was the late Royal Governor, 
Josiah Martin, who had been lingering on the confine.- of his 
lost government ever since his flight from New-Bern, in 177"< ■ 
For months he had gazed from the decks of the sloop of war 
Oruiser, upon the mournful headlands and funeral cypresses of 
the lower waters of the ( Jape fear River. ( mce he had gone to 
England, but now like .some poor spirit re-visiting the scene of a 
former life, he was using his only opportunity to once more 
behold the land he had ruled and lost. A printing press formed 
also a portion of the camp furniture. From this instrument 
proclamations and bulletins of victory were to he scattered among 
the people. Colonel Hamilton and his Tories were also along to 
lie used both in battle and as emissaries among the disatlected. 

The main army was moved forward by the Waxhaws, di- 
rectly upon Charlotte, while Major Patrick Ferguson, with a 
force of Regulars and native Loyalists, was dispatched westward 
of the Catawba River to open communication with the Tories, 
and stir up a spirit of revolt against the American government. 
Ferguson's position in the British line was that of Major in the 
Seventy-first Regiment. Hi- fine qualities as a partisan com- 
mander had procured hi- brevet as Colonel, and assignment to 
separate command. He was a Scotchman ; the son of Lord Pit- 
four, one of the Lords of Session at Edengburgh.J He was dar- 
ing, energetic and highly magnetic in the exercise of control over 

Governor Graham's Lecture, page l">''>. 
{■Journal of Board of W;ir. 1780. 
(Annual Register, 17-1. pag< - 81, B2 


At the time of Lord Cornwallis' approach to Charlotte, there 
were no troops in the vicinity but the militia of Mecklenburg 
and Rowan, under the command of General Davidson, the 
brigade commanded by General Sumner, and the mounted force 
of the recently promoted Colonel W. R. Davie.* As the British 
army drew near, Davidson most properly retired on the road to 
Salisbury, but Davie determined to give Lord Cornwallis a fore- 
taste of what he might afterwards expect in North Carolina. 
With his own troopers and two other companies of mounted 
rifles under Major George Davidson, he took post at Providence.! 
With his small force he was continually annoying the British 
front but found no opportunity of inflicting much injury 
until the advancing enemy reached and occupied as an out-post, 
the farm of one of his eaptains. At Captain Wahab's place, he 
beat up their camp, killing twenty, wounding forty and bringing 
off ninety-six horses, with the loss of a single one of his own 

As the British drew near Charlotte, Colonel Davie was joined 
by a kindred spirit in Major Joseph Graham of Mecklenburg. 
He was just twenty-one years of age but had already seen ser- 
vice on the Savannah River and at Stono. He was brave to 
rashness, and yet full of resources and care for the men who were 
following so youthful a leader. f Like his commander, he was 
to grow illustrious not only by deeds in the field but by 
many long-enjoyed civic honors. Of the same stoek with the 
chivalrous Davidson, he manifested a kindred devotion to duty. 
He had just enlisted fifty of his neighbors to meet the advancing 
invaders, and with Colonel Davie, he was about to perform a feat 
as daring as that of Bruce at Bannockburn.| 

Colonel Davie, with his own command and that of Graham, de- 
termined to make a stand in the village of Charlotte; not that he 
dreamed for a moment that he could repel the powerful British 
army, but he had not recently engaged Tarleton's legion, and 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 195. fFoote's Sketches, page 50 I. 

JWheeler, vol. II, page 234. 


be was determined to teach them how little he dreaded their 
presence and how dangerous it would be to detach portions in 
thai >«<•! i' hi of the country.* His whole force did uot reach two 
hundred men. Charlotte was situated <>n a slight elevation and 
t ln-ii contained about twenty houses. These were built on two 
streets intersecting at right angles. At the point of crossing stood 
the court-house. The left of the village, as the enemy advanced 
from the south, was an open common to the \\ < »< •< 1>. which reached 
the gardens of the town. One company was dismounted and 
posted under the court-house, where the men were protected by 
;i wall four feet high. Two other companies were advanced 
about eighty yards and aligned hehind houses and in gardens, on 
each >ide of the street. Even while making these dispositions, 
Tarleton's legion was forming in full view, at the distance of 
three hundred yards, under the command of Major Hanger, who 
was acting in place of Lieutenant-Colonel Tarletop, who was at 
that time on the sick list. The bugle sounded the charge and 
the British cavalry came on in a gallop within sixty yards of the 
court-house, where they received a lire so deadly that they 
wheeled and retreated with great precipitation. As the infantry 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Webster continued to advance, not- 
withstanding the lire of the companies, on the two sides of the 
street, it became necessary to retire to a position parallel with the 
force under the court-house. The Hanks were engaged with tin 
advancing infantry under Webster, hut the men under the court- 
lions.- were directed to reserve their tire tor the horsemen, who 
were rallied and returned to the charge. They were again driven 
hack in plain view of the whole British army. But now Col- 
onel Webster was about to turn the flank of this gallant band of 
heroes, and the two companies on the right and left were so with- 
drawn as to cover each other's retreat and formed at the end of 
the street, one hundred yard- in rear of the court-house. This 
was done under a heavy lire of the British light infantry, who 
had advanced under cover of the houses and L r arden~. Another 

K( ndall'e Life of Jackson, chapter 1 1. Bection 1. 


charge of the cavalry of the legion was again repelled and for 
a third time they went back at a gallop. Lord Coruwallis losl 
his temper at this last discomfiture and denounced them in un- 
measured terms. The legion, now re-inforeed by Webster's in- 
fantry, pressed forward on the flank and a retreat became abso- 
lutely necessary. This was effected on the Salisbury road, while 
the enemy followed at a distance, and with great caution, for 
several miles before thev dared to charge Colonel Davie's rear 
guard.* Of course these were put to Might, but on receiving the 
tire of a single company, the redoubtable men of the legion 
again fell back.t In this romantic and brilliant affair, Major 
Graham, while manifesting that heroism for which he was ever 
distinguished, was overwhelmed in an attack made upon him on 
the left of the road and received no less than nine wounds. Six 
of these were sabre cuts and three from gun shots. He was left 
for dead on the field, but made his escape.^ Lieutenant Locke 
of Rowan, and four privates, were killed, and five of the men 
were wounded. On the British side, Major Hanger was wounded, 
as were Captains Campbell and McDonald, besides thirty pri- 
vates. Twelve of their men were killed. ;£ 

Earl Cornwallis had thus a second time invaded the soil of 
North Carolina. In the early portion of 1776, he had ravaged 
the farm of General Howe and threatened Wilmington, but had 
retired upon learning the overthrow of his friends at Moore's 
Creek. His bloody reception at Charlotte was on September 
26th, 1780. He well knew that General Sumner, with his own 
brigade and that of Davidson, was on his route at Salisbury, 
thirty-five miles off to the northeast. This force numbered two 
thousand men. § General Gates had eight hundred Continentals 
at Hi llsboro, besides a regiment of Virginians just arrived, under 

*Note. — Both Stedman and Tarleton abundantly confirm the particulars of 

the above brilliantly audacious exploit. 

tColonel Davie's own account of the affair. JFoote's Sketches, page '_'-V>. 
'i Attorney-General Iredell to wife, September L'Sth, 1780. 


Colonel Buford.* He had penetrated jusl sixteen miles into the 
State and now halted to await information as to the results of 
the movements of Ferguson. Davie's startling resistance :it the 
court-house was a fit prelude to his entire experience while so- 
journing at the " Hornets Nest." " It was evident." says ( lolonel 
Tarleton, "and had been frequently mentioned to the King's 
officers, that the counties of Mecklenburg and Rowan were more 
hostile to England than any others in America. The vigilance 
and animosity of the surrounding districts checked the exertions 
of the well-affected, and totally destroyed all communications 
between the Loyalists in other parts of the province. No Brit- 
ish commander could obtain any information in that position, 
which would facilitate his designs or guide his future conduct. "t 
[n addition to the above, Tarleton further added that Corn- 
wallis could learn nothing of movements of the civil or mili- 
tary authorities and troops of his opponents and above all, the 
uncommon difficulties in procuring subsistence for the troops. 
Foraging parties were incessantly harrassed by unexpected attacks 
and ambuscades. One of many such affairs is yet remembered. 
A party of four hundred soldiers were sent to convey a wagon 
to a farm known as Melntyre's, seven miles from Charlotte, on 
the road to B.eattie's Ford.| As they drew near, a lad who was 
ploughing by the roadside left his work and mounting the horse, 
tied through bye-paths to give notice of the British approach. 
This was to enable those in tin- vicinity to conceal their horses 
and other valuables. Mclntyrc and his family had disappeared 
before the foragers arrived, and the house and property were 
thus left to the mercy of the foe. Tin dragoons had dismounted 
and were aiding the others in loading their own and Mcln- 
tvre's wagons, when a rifle shot from the wood .-truck down tin 
officer in command. Others followed in rapid succession, and 
before the bugle could sound a recall, nine men and two horses 

\iiuiniv-i reneral tredell t<> wife. September 28th, 1780. 
fTarleton's Campaigns, page L60. 
fFoote's Sketches, pages •"» , '7 ami 508. 


had been disabled. Soon the tire was renewed from a different 
quarter and the dragoons started in pursuit. Their dogs were 
put upon the trail of the unseen assailants, but they came to 
grief and those not killed went howling back. Re-inforcements 
came to the concealed riflemen and alarm seized upon the foragers. 
A rapid retreat ensued but the road was blocked with slain 
horses and the confusion was but increased as the brave English- 
men only formed in array to be more surely reached by the 
deadly rifles of concealed marksmen. It was a small reproduc- 
tion of Braddock's helpless resistance at Fort Duquesne. The 
four hundred British troops, utterly demoralized, reached Char- 
lotte, having lost twenty-seven men killed and wounded, besides 
many horses. George Graham, the brother of Major Joseph 
Graham, who was then lying so near death from his many wounds, 
was a participant in this daring and successful affair.* 

Colonel Ferguson had been for some time, as has been seen, on 
out-post duty, commanding strong detachments and arousing the 
Loyalists to opposition in the field. He was accompanied by one 
hundred and fifty men of the Seventy-first Regiment of the 
British army. These regulars were but the nucleus around 
which he had gathered two thousand Loyalists by the 20th of 
September. Colonel Charles McDowell had disbanded the force 
with which he had made the expedition to South Carolina, but 
information had reached the remote settlements bevond the 
mountains, of Cornwallis' invasion and Ferguson's approach, in 
time for a general rendezvous at Watauga, on September 26th. 
On that day Colonels McDowell, Cleaveland, Shelby and Sevier 
<>f North Carolina and Campbell of Virginia, assembled their 
troops, amounting to fourteen hundred men; of whom, four 
hundred came from Virginia with Colonel Campbell. f They at 
once resolved to march against Ferguson. It was seen that a 
sharp pursuit would probably be needed before reaching him, 
and it was suggested to Colonel McDowell that hi- advanced 

*Foote's Sketches, page 508. 

fColonel Campbell's report of the action. 



age would unfit him for the command. This noble patriot at 
once acquiesced In the justice of the suggestion, and surrender- 
ing his men of Burke and Rutherford, to Major Joseph Mc- 
I >owell, he set out to obtain a general officer to meet the command 
on their route. I'ntil such officer should join them, with a lii"li 
and knightly courtesy, the North Carolinians, as Colonel Camp- 
bell was tV another State and they wereal home, insisted that 

he should take the command until the General sent for, should 
arrive. These arrangements having been made, they at once 
marched in quest of their dangerous enemy.* 

Amid so much patriotism, bravery and antique courtesy, there 
were -till some base spirits, who, quailing at t he danger, deserted 
and gave Colonel Ferguson notice of the impending danger. At 
Donald's Ford on Broad River, on October 1st, he despatched 
a stirring and alarming circular to the Tory leaders for help, and 
at the same timesenl several expresses by different routes to Lord 
Cornwallis, apprising him of the formidable action of the men 
of the mountain-.*' His messengers to Charlotte were inter- 
cepted or scared off until too late for help. Heat once left <Jil- 
berttown and encamped at ( !owpens, on the State line. < )n Octo- 
ber 5th, he crossed the Broad River at Deer Ferry and marched 
sixteen miles. ( )n the 6th, he passed along the Ridge Road, un- 
til reaching a ford, and then to the right hand across King's 
('reek, and then through a <r.ip toward- Yorkville, about four- 
teen miles and camped upon the top of Kings Mountain. From 
this Btrong position, as he complacently surveyed it, he impiously 
asserted that not even "(J<m1 Almighty could drive him." He 
wasagain upon the line dividing North and South Carolina, and 
was forty-five miles southwest of Charlotte, "as the crow Hie.-.'* 

( lolonel Shelby had urged the utmost expedition in their move- 
ments:! that if Ferguson was Btrong enough, he would move 
to attack them and if not, he would increase his force. This ad- 
vice was adopted, and they iv-olved not to await the( ietieral Bent 

Wheeler, vol. II. \kw lol. tl.itVc.t" Shelby, pag 

JLife of Shelby. 


for by Colonel McDowell, but to move at once upon Gilbert- 
town. Here they found that Ferguson had retreated, but were 
joined by Colonel Williams of South Carolina with a re-inforce- 
ment of four hundred men. This occurred on ( >ctober 6th. It 
was determined that night, in a council of officers, to select nine 
hundred of their best men and to leave those on weak horses and 
afoot to follow as best they could. At 8 o'clock the same even- 
ing, they set out and marched all night and reached King's Moun- 
tain at 3 o'clock the next day. They had been in the saddle for 
thirty hours without rest and were drenched by a heavy rain.* 

They found Colonel Ferguson fully apprised of their approach 
and occupying a position of great, natural strength upon the crest 
of the mountain. This was a level table seventy yards broad 
and five hundred long. The dispositions for attack were imme- 
diately made. Colonel Shelby's men were posted on the left of 
the centre; Colonel Campbell, with another column of attack, on 
the right. Major Winston with one portion of Colonel Cleave- 
land's command and with that of Colonel Sevier, formed a strong 

7 © 

column on the extreme right, while Colonel Cleaveland himself, 
with the residue of his force, constituted the left wing. In this 
order the advance was made until within a quarter of a mile of 
the enemy, before signs of discovery were made by the Royalists. 
Colonels Shelby and Campbell began the attack and poured in 
their fire while the two wings proceeded to surround the moun- 
tain. This was soon accomplished; the report says in five min- 
utes from action joined. The firing was now heard entirely 
around the mountain. Steadily on all sides the brave men of 
the hills closed to a common centre, where Ferguson, with su- 
preme bravery, was everywhere animating his beleagured forces. 
Time and again, with one hundred and fifty regular-, he pushed 
back with the bayonet the fatal advances of the different bands 
that were all pressing forward in one common and dauntless at- 
tack. The troops on the right were the first to gain the summit 
and forced the enemy into retreat upon Colonel Cleaveland, who 

*Wheeler, vol. II. page 59. 


with the ut -t steadiness checked their advance upon him and 

drove them back upon the pursuers under Colonels Campbell 
and Shelby. Colonel Ferguson was often wounded, and at last, 
while cheering on hi- men, fell dead, and Captain Depeyster, 
second in command, raised a flag and the firing at once ceased. 

Thus nine hundred mountain militia had attacked, defeated 
and captured ever) one who had not been slain, of a force that 
numbered, when the action began, ju.-t eleven thousand and 
twenty-five men, including, as has already been stated, one hundred 
and fifty British regulars. Of this latter force, beside Colonel 
Ferguson, one captain, two lieutenants and fifteen private- were 
killed and thirty-three were wounded. Besides this, of the ree- 
ulars there were wounded two captains, four lieutenants, three 
ensigns, one surgeon, five sergeants, three corporals and sixty 
privates were taken prisoners. The Tories lost two colonels, 
three captains and two hundred and one privates killed ; and 
wounded: one colonel, twelve captains, eleven lieutenant-, two 
ensigns, one quartermaster, one adjutant, two commissarit -. 
eighteen sergeant-, and six hundred prisoners. 

The Whig loss was also severe. The gallant Colonel James 
Williams of South Carolina, fell at the head of bis command and 
was buried on the field. t So also with Major William ( Ihronicle 
of Lincoln and Captain John Mattocks. Major Hambrite ami 
three captains were wounded; a.- were also tluvc lieutenants and 
fifty-three private.-. The total of the Whigs killed amounted to 
twenty-eight. It is impossible to realize the joy this victory sent 
all over America, or what gloom it brought to the British Karl, 
who was anxiously waiting for hi- favorite, Ferguson, at Char- 

Governor Nash was not the only North Carolina favorite who 
suffered in consequence of General Grates' rash venture at Cam- 

re. -He was born and reared in Granville county, N. C, but bad emi- 
grated t" the sisU r State. 

' Ui |'urt of the battle by Colonels < ampbell and Shelby. 


den. Three days after that affair, General Caswell was at ( !har- 
lotte issuing orders and establishing a camp.* By a resolution 
of* the Assembly, General Small wood of the Maryland line was 
requested to take command of the North Carolina militia, and in 
consequence, that officer superseded General Caswell, who no more 
appeared as a military man in the progress of the war.* Small- 
wood was as great a martinet as Gates, and was ordered to the 
North in December by General Washington, in consequence of 
a foolish contest with Baron Steuben as to their relative rank.t 
General Gates had been at Hillsboro sinee his arrival in Au- 
gust from Camden. He had foreseen the displeasure of the 
Continental Congress at the ruin he had wrought, and had been 
watching for their action, with the certainty of his displacement 
and a rigid examination as to the facts of his defeat. On Oeto- 
ber 14th, General Washington gave orders to General Nathaniel 
Greene of Rhode Island to assume the command in the South. £ 
The delegates of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia 
had joined in requesting General Washington to make this selec- 
tion and upon his compliance, the appointment was approved by 
the unanimous vote of the Congress. At last a really wise and 
good man was to assume the conduct of affairs in the South. 
With the single exception of the great Virginian, there was no 
officer in the American army who so realized the conditions of 
native intelligence and acquired skill, as were blended in the person 
of him who now came to rescue the ruined Southern States from 
the blundering mismanagement hitherto observable in the mili- 
tary conduct of affairs. The simplicity and truth of his Quaker 
parentage were the uoblest and most attractive of the many vir- 
tues which clustered so thickly upon this brave and capable man. 
He loved the American cause better than himself, and had fore- 
gone the honors of the line for the tedious duties of the Quarter- 
master-General's office. Latterly he had commanded the Light 

*Life of Iredell, vol. I, page 458. 

fGeneral Washington to General Greene, January, 1781. 

^General Matthews to I. Matthews. 


Division, which always held the place of honor iu the main 
American army, when confronting < reneral < Jlinton in New York. 
Like the great captain under whom he had learned the art <>f 
war. he ci mid patiently !>i<le his time for striking the enemy, and 
like him could extract from an apparent defeat, all the benefits 
accruing from completest victory to less capable men. He 
was gentle in his sternness and audacious in hi- very caution. 
So well could he keep his own counsel that Lord Corn wal lis 
could never fathom his designs. Strikingly handsome, he pos- 
sessed that nobility of presence that gave him trust wherever 
he was seen, and a placidity of demeanor which but revealed the 
-^lenity and rectitude of a blameless life. By general order-, 
dated December 3rd, General Gates announced the arrival of 
General Greene and his own cessation of command in the South- 
ern array. 

General Greene found at Charlotte, two brigades of militia 
under the respective command- of Generals Jethro Sumner and 
William L. Davidson. These troops had Keen in Corn wal lis* 
front during his occupation of Charlotte, and having followed 
in his wake till the British army had passed the Waxhaws in 
retreat, had resumed their old position at the" Hornet- Nest." 

With the new commander of the Southern army came some 
other celebrated officers. The mosl famous of these was Thad- 
deus Ko-ciu-co, who became immortal for his defence of his 
native land against the Russians and others, who effected the 
dismemberment of that ancient kingdom. He had been engaged 
a- an engineer in constructing the great work- of defence on the 
Hudson River, and had come in the same capacity on the -tall' 
of General Greene. Baron Steuben was also detached for duty 

in the South, where hi- tine al>iliti< - a- an organizer were thoughl 

to lie needed liv General Washington." lint in Colonel Henry 
Lie of Virginia, and his veteran legion of cavalry, was the 

greatest aid. of any "f the force- dispatched at this critical juno- 

ii ml Washington i" Baron Steuben, October 22nd, L880 


ture. He had lately stormed the British out-] tost at Paulus 
Hook, in New Jersey, and gained great credit for his bravery 
and discretion. He was high in the confidence and admira- 
tion of General Washington, and was rightly considered one of 
the verv best officers in the American army, lie was brave, 
enterprising, and the embodiment of wary circumspection.* He 
was ever during the whole war in close proximity to the enemy, 
and was never surprised or even taken at disadvantage"}". Had 
Colonel Davie commanded Continentals, who were enlisted for 
the war, he doubtless would have created a command like that of 
"Light-horse Harry," but at the period now reached he was 
on the eve of disbanding his famous corps because their time 
of enlishment had expired, and he was soon to succeed Colonel 
Thomas Polk as Commissary-General of the Southern army.| 
He had expended his fortune in raising his last troop, and could 
not renew his command for want of means. 

It has been the habit of historians to represent the South as 
prostrate and incapable of self-defence at this period ;§ but North 
Carolina had in the field at this very time at least five thousand 
men. || This number could have been largely increased, but for 
want of commissary stores and arms. General Allen Jones, 

*Note. — Colonel Henry Lee was the father of the late illustrious General 
Robert E. Lee, and was the eulogist who said of Washington that he " was 
first in peace, first in war, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens." 

JNote. — Colonel Nicholas Long of Halifax, was the first Commissary- 
General of the North Carolina Continental line. The duties incident to that 
important position included those now entrusted to the Quartermaster, in addi- 
tion to that of feeding the men. Colonel Long was a gentleman of wealth and 
consideration, and was only second to Willie Jones as a leader in Halifax. 
His military duties were executed with the utmost ability and propriety. 
Like his successor, General Polk, he left an eminent and useful posterity. 
His wife's maiden name was McKinney, who rivalled Mrs. Will it- Jones and 
Mrs. John B. Ashe in the grace and enthusiasm of her patriotism. 

fGeneral Washington to Governor Nash, November (3th, 17S(). 

gHildreth, vol. Ill, page 331. 

|| Attorney-General Iredell to wife, September 9th, 1780. 


General .Isaac Gregory and others were baited < >n their way to 
the west, and their commands returned to their homes, only 
because, by joining those already in camp, they would consume 
the scanty stores which had been collected for the Continentals 
recently brought south.* 

North Carolina was to continue undisturbed by the enemy for 
the remainder of the year of L780. General Small wood was in 
command of the < a i n j > at Providence, near the South Carolina 
line, with cavalry out-posts at Land's Ford on the Wateree, but 
there was no effort on either 3ide to break the temporary inac- 
tivity which followed Lord Cornwallis' retreat to Winnsboro.i 
General Marion issued from his concealment, but was driven 
back byTarleton. General Sumter discomfited a British detach- 
ment and threatened the fort at Ninety-Six. Tarleton tried to 
cut him off, but was beaten at Black-stock Hill. November 
20th. The gallant Carolinian was badly wounded, and -nit his 
men to their homes until he should be healed of his injury.j 

In the same month the people of the Albemarle country were 
i scited at the visit of General Leslie, with a fleet and considera- 
ble British force, to Hampton Roads, where he had order- to 
land and co-operate with Cornwallis ; hut he soon sailed from 
that point to Charleston, and General Gregory and his force were 
relieved from the duty of observation upon his movements.! 

The elections to the Continental Congress were significant of 
compromise in the party divisions which had existed since I77n\ 
Samuel Johnston and Willie .lone-, who had headed the rival 
parties in the State, were both -elected a- delegates.|| William 

||Note.- I Mm indebted t" my very learned and courteous friend Daniel li. 
< roodloe, Esq., of Warrenton, for the information thai ( rovernor Samuel John- 
ston was elected during this session of the Continental Congress to the lii!_ r li 
honor of being President of thai body. Colonel Goodloe, in hi- researches 
touching our Revolutionary finances, discovered tin- forgotten incident, ami 
the further fact, that rich a- tras Johnston, he was compelled to forego this 

Governor Graham's Lecture, page 17 1. ^Wheeler, vol. II. page 296 
Holmes, page 146. ^Washington's Writings, vol. VII, page 347. 

1780. CONCILIATION. 299 

Sharpe, Thomas Burke and Whitmel Hill were continued in the 

same high trust.* 

Such spirit of concession and recognition was eminently wise 
and proper in this time of public danger and calamity. Mr. 
Johnston had been rigidly proscribed for four years past, simply 
because he differed from the majority as to the amount of power 
that could be safely vested in the hands of the people. No one 
at any time had doubted his devotion to the struggling cause of 
America or the uncommon purity and wisdom of his life. A 
broad liberality was established as the rule in administration of 
public affairs, and it was not departed from until the passage of 
the Alien and Sedition Laws had given the jealous mind of Mr. 
Jefferson an excuse for excluding every opponent from the 
enjoyment of public trusts, f 

high distinction because of the condition of his finances. His return to North 
Carolina had become necessary, and he had thus to forego what was then the 
highest civil function in America. The Continental funds had so depreciated 
that his pay as a member was insufficient to meet his personal expenses. 

*Journals of Congress. f J ones' Defence, page 310. 




A . D. 1 7 s 1 . 

Effects of Arnold's treason upon the American army and people— General 
Robert Howe crashes insubordination in the army — General Daniel Mor- 
gan — Major Cloyd chastises the Tories at Shallow Ford- General Greene 
divides his force into the camps on Broad River and Cheraw— Morgan routs 
Tarleton at Cowpens— The victors begin their fatuous retreat— Cornwallis, 
enraged, follows in pursuit — Morgan reaches bland Ford with the British 
two hours behind — < reneral < rreene, from < Iheraw, joins Morgan — Their dis- 
agreement— Rise of the Catawba — Death of General Davidson ami the af- 
fair at Torrence's Tavern — General Pickens elected to succeed Davidson 
Greene renews tin- retreat — He crosses Trading Ford ami i- again saved by 
a swell of the Yadkin — Cornwallis baffled, turns northward to Shallow 
Ford — ' rreene reaches Guilford Court House — Another race tor Dan River- 
Colonel (Harrington's preparations save the Americans —Cornwallis turns back 
to Hillsboro — Erects Royal Standard and issues proclamations — General 
Pickens and Major Graham follow in his waki — Graham captures his out- 
post at 1 fart's Mill — Colonel John Pyle and the " hacking match " —i blonel 
Williams returns against Cornwallis. followed by General Greene— ^Colonel 
Webster at Whitsel's Mill — Battle of Guilford Court House— The British 
retreal -Major Craig occupies Wilmington General Alexander Lillington 
at Heron's Bridge— Creene abandons pursuit of Cornwallis to Beek Lord 

Rawdon in South Carolina — Battle of Hobkirk Hill ---Cornwallis goes to 

Virginia— British trick on General Gregory — Assembly at Halifax and ii~ 
enactments -Another at Wake Court House — Governor Nash succeeded by 
Thomas Burke — Extraordinary Council — Levies in the West heath- of 
Generals Ashe and Harnett— Cruelty of Craig— The Tories rise for ven- 
geance — Affair at Piney Bottom— David Fanning attack- All-ton l'.eat- 
Wade at Drowning < Ireek ( laptore of < rovernor Burke and battle of Lind- 

-a\ - Mill on < ane ( reek < oloncl A. Martin bee es < tovernor Battle of 

Elizabethtown Eutaw Spring — Exchange of prisoners— General Ruther- 
ford marches against Wilmington Major Graham at Rockfish Major 

Craig haves North Carolina. 

The -i\ili year of the war came upon America with mam 
ominous suggestions. The resull of the military operations of 
I7si) had been highly favorable t<> the Kino, and only the 
bravery of the mountain militia had prevented the occupation of 


North Carolina. The treason of General Arnold was painfully 

suggestive of the possibility of similar baseness in others, occu- 
pying high places, and benumbed the people's hope like the 
advent of some hideous and deadly pestilence. It added to the 
growing disposition to insubordination among the soldiers of 
some States. The large bodies of men constituting the Pennsyl- 
vania line broke out into open mutiny, and forcibly exacted such 
terms, that the greater portion of them were 'relieved from the 
conditions of their enlistment, and left the army. In a few 
days the New Jersey line attempted the same ruinous pro- 
gramme, but General Washington was determined that such 
things should find an end. Major-General Robert Howe was 
ordered from the Hudson with five battalions, and after march- 
ing through snow-storms, on January 26th he reached Morris- 
town. Surrounding the mutineers, they were forced to surrender 
their arms, and two of their ringleaders were executed.* This 
ended such disgraceful scenes, and General Washington, in gen- 
eral orders, returned thanks to General Howe and his command 
for their great promptness and discretion. f 

Among the officers sent south, was Colonel Daniel Morgan of 
Virginia. He was highly distinguished as the leader of his rifle 
corps, and had brought a small force of Continentals with him to 
Hillsboro.| This veteran, who had seen service in the old wars 
with the French and Indians, with his two hundred regulars, 
was sent westward, and he soon directed Major Cloyd with a 
detachment to chastise the Tories at Shallow Ford, on the Yad- 
kin. § This was handsomelv done, in the same neighborhood in 
which Colonel Bryan was so influential as a Tory leader. Alter 
this, Colonel Morgan took post on the Catawba to observe the 
enemy and support General Sumter in his manoeuvres against 
Tarleton in the upper districts of South Carolina. 

^General Howe's Report, Washingon's Writings, vol. VII, page 563. 

fGeneral Orders, January 30th, L781. 

JLife of Iredell, vol. I. page lo'V 

^Journal ofthe Board of War; Governor Graham's Lecture, page 17ii. 


Early in the year of 1781, as Genera] Greene had by thai 
time acquainted himself with the strength of his troops and the 
sources of their supply, he found it necessary to divide .-till 
further the small force congregated in Mecklenburg. Relying 
upon General Davidson's militia to be called from their homes 
as occasion might require, to act as a central force, Morgan, then 
freshly appointed a brigadier, was Ben! aero-- the Catawba and 
Broad Rivers, while the main body under General Sumner was 


led to Cheraw on the Pee Dee; where also he was joined by 
Colonel Lee and his legion * By these arrangements, abundant 
subsistence was obtained, and British communication with all the 
disaffected regions of North Carolina effectually precluded. 
Lord Cornwallis could not invade the State without first driving 
hack General Morgan, or if he did, that enterprising officer 
would be still on his left and rear. Morgan, too, had been 
strengthened by accessions under General Andrew Pickens, Major 
Joseph McDowell, and Major Cunningham of Georgia. 

Lieutenant-General, the Karl Corn wallis, having received large 
re-int'orcements under Major-Genera] Leslie, sent a superior 
force under Tarleton, to oppose Morgan, while he followed with 
the main army in the same direction. On January 17th, Gen- 
eral Morgan was posted at the junction of Broad and Pee Dee 
Rivers, at a place known as Cowpens, thirty miles from King's 
Mountain, where Ferguson had been lately destroyed. f Here 
came Tarleton on that day, with eleven hundred and fifty British 
Regulars. These consisted of the famous legion, and the 
First Battalion of the equally celebrated Seventy-first Regiment, 
and two pieces of light artillery. Morgan had but three hun- 
dred Continentals and five hundred militia. Colonel Tarleton 
led the attack with his usual spirit, hut was met with a resolu- 
tion that has never been surpassed. The British Regulars 

were driven in confusion from the field.! The hold riders of 

Revolutionary History of North Carolina, page 179. 
; I [olmes, page L53. 
JLee'fl Mi moirs of the war in the South, page 228. 


the legion were assaulted and scattered by a charge of horse 
under Colonel Washington and Major McDowell, and Colonel 
Tarleton himself was wounded in an encounter with Washing- 
ton. The battle lasted just fifty minutes, and was a complete 
victory for the Americans. Tarleton lost five hundred and two 
prisoners, one hundred and ten killed, two hundred wounded, his 
artillery, baggage, standards, seventy negroes and one hundred 
horses. The routed fugitives were chased by Colonel Wash- 
ington for twenty-four miles from the field.* 

In this brilliant and important victory, the bulk of the militia 
were of Major McDowell's command and from Burke county, 
North Carolina.f From these same men, who had been so con- 
spicuous at King's Mountain, were taken a picked corps, who 
acted as dragoons with Colonel Washington.^ Tarleton was 
completely beaten in his usual tactics, and as he reached the 
camp of Lord Cornwallis with the bad news, His Lordship 
issued orders for the third invasion of North Carolina. There 
might be a chance of retrieving a portion of the disaster by 
overtaking Morgan and rescuing the prisoners in his keeping. 
That wary veteran well knew that this resolution would be 
formed, and had abandoned his captured stores, and leaving his 
wounded under the protection of a flag, set out that very evening 
upon a rapid retreat. The prisoners were sent in advance, 
guarded by the militia, while the rear was held by the three 
hundred regulars. 

Lord Cornwallis and the main British army lay at Turkey 
Creek on January 17th. This point was twenty-five miles south 
of Cowpens. By just this space did General Morgan get the 
start in the memorable race which followed. A dispatch in- 
formed General Greene of the victory and its probable results, 
as, with hasting feet, the victors fled from the vengeance of the 
furious Britons. General Morgan was soon apprised of pursuit, 

*General Morgan's report to Congress, 
flredell's Life, vol. I, page 483. 
J Lee's Memoirs, page 228. 


and for twelve weary ami fearful days, he pressed onward with 
his prisoners, almost as numerous a- the gallant band who had 
effected their capture. k& the Bun Bank low in the west, <>n 
the evening of the 29th, the van of the royal army reached the 
[sland Ford of the Catawba River, on the road leading now 
from Statesville to Morganton.* General CHara, commanding 
the advance, found that Morgan bad crossed just two hours 
before. The weary pursuers halted for rest, congratulating them- 
selves that on the next day the flying prize would be overtaken. 
The delay saved General Morgan, for the next morning dis- 
covered a swollen and impassable river. The rain had fallen in 
torrents during the night, and the drenched Englishmen, in im- 
potent rage, lay for two whole days unable to proceed, while 
Stout old Daniel Morgan was in the meanwhile accomplishing a 
large portion of the distance lying between his militia and pris- 
oners and Virginia. He, with the regulars of his command, 
turned down the leit bank of the river and met General Greene 
at Sherrill's. The latter had been informed of the victory and 
pursuit, and had hastened forward almost unattended from 
Cheraw, to concert measures with General Morgan both for 
Becuring the fruits of the tatter's triumph and for future move- 
ments. t 

A controversy ensued between those distinguished American 
officers, at this time, which was very much to lie deplored. < Jen- 
eral Morgan was a brave and skillful officer hut he was a very 
hard-headed man. General Greene had determined on the route 
by which the retreat should he continued, l»nt General Morgan 
had different views and bo stoutly contended that his feelings 
were excited against his superior officer, and he soon lefl the 
service and retired to his farm, known a- Saratoga, where he re- 
mained inactive through the remainder of the war.} 

The timely Bwell of the river, which had saved General Mor- 
gan, gave such opportunities to General Greene that he deter- 

Governor Graham's Lecture, page 181. fLee's Memoirs. 
; Wheeler, vol. 1 1, page 55. 

1781. THE LONG (II ASK. 305 

mined to dispute Cornwallis' passage, and thus gain time tor the 
arrival at Salisbury, of the troops from Cheraw under General 
Huu'er of South Carolina and Colonel Williams of Maryland. 
In the execution of this plan, Morgan's Riflemen and a small 
body of militia were posted at Sherill's Ford. General David- 
son had called out the men of his command and distributing some 
at Beattie's and other fords of the Catawba, went himself with 
his usual valor and devotion, to the post of real danger at Cow- 
an's Ford. This was done on the evening of January 31st. 
Three hundred of his neighbors and friends were gathered for 
the last time under his command and they resolutely awaited the 
approach of the foe. 

Lord Cornwallis had been encamped for two days at Ramsour's 
Mill, where, in the preceding summer, Colonel Moore and his 
Tories had come to grief. There he rid himself of all superfluous 
baggage and put his troops in the lightest possible marching 
order. He would again renew the pursuit of Morgan and, if 
possible, bring Greene to the necessity of an engagement. A de- 
tachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Webster was sent as a feint 
to Beattie's Ford, but Cornwallis, with the main army moved at 
night, and by dawn was at Cowan's Ford.f As has been seen, this 
was the point at which General Davidson had expected the passage 
would be attempted, and he was in position when the British 
approached. The river is just one-fourth of a mile wide at this 
point, but the invaders plunged boldly in the yet swollen waters 
and waded through in spite of the fire of General Davidson's 
men. They lost forty men in the passage, including Colonel 
Hall, commanding the advance, but made good the landing and 
drove off the militia, whose loss was small, except in the fall of 
their brave and devoted commander, General Davidson, who fell 
dead upon the soil he had so long and faithfully struggled to 
defend, and left a memory as imperishable as the everlasting 
hills, there visible in the blue distance, f 

fGovernor Graham's Lecture, page 183. 
jWheeler, vol. II, page 234. 


These men of Mecklenburg and Rowan, who had 1 1 j n- lost 
their trusted leader, retired to Torrence's Tavern, six miles away 
en the Salisbury road, where they were joined by the other de- 
tachments, that had been watching al Beattie's Ford. Halting 
there, they were soon assailed and scattered by Tarleton, who 
to<.k them by surprise but inflicted no serious damage. They 
escaped and waited till the British army had passed by iii pur- 
suit of the army under General Greene, when they again assem- 
bled and selected General Andrew Pickens of South Carolina as 
the successor of the lamented Davidson. This was done with 
Buch celerity that they followed hard upon Lord Cornwallis. 
There had been division among them as to who was the ranking 
officer and entitled to command, and this led to their choice of a 
brave and capable officer, who had been with them al Torrence's 
and since. This choice was made on the 11th of February, at 
which time they numbered seven hundred men.* 

General Greene hastened from the Catawba eastward to Salis- 
bury, with the troops under General Morgan. linger and \\ il- 
liams had been ordered to meet him at Guilford Court House, 
fifty miles in advance. Marching with the utmost expedition, he 
was -till pressed by the pursuing enemy and crossed Trading Ford 
on the Yadkin. Here again was another of those remarkable 
incidents, which were attributed by the grateful American- to 
the interposition of a protecting Providence. The cavalry forded 
the stream at midnight of February 3rd, and the infantry 
passed in boat- at dawn, with the loss of a few wagon- cut off by 
the enemy. But the boat- were secured and the river rising 
during the eight, the British were unable to cross and were 
forced to proceed thirty mile- up the stream to Shallow Ford. 
Here Lord Cornwallis learned that General Greene had effected 
a junction with the forces from Cheraw, under General Huger, 
on February lOth.f 

Lord Cornwallis, above all things was desirous of overtaking 
and forcing General Greene to battle. Having losl ground in 

Governor Graham's Lecture, page l v - 

l < . - Memoirs, page 136; Johnson's Life of Greene, vol. I. page 129. 


the race by being forced to make the wide detour by way of 
Shallow Ford, he still had everv confidence of overtaking his 
flying opponent, from the fact that by way of the Moravian 
settlement at Salem he was considerably nearer the fords of Dan 
River than was Greene at Guilford Court House.* Trusting 
that the American commander could find no boats in time to es- 
cape, he urged on his march with all possible expedition. Gen- 
eral Greene rested his men for three days at the court-house and 
then continued his retreat to Dan River. The race was now re- 
newed for the lower ferries and Greene had twenty-five miles the 
start. A long and exhausting march and an eager and breathless 
pursuit again followed. A corps of light troops, numbering 
seven hundred men, was organized from the different commands 
and assigned to Colonel Otho H. Williams. This force, contain- 
ing the corps of Lee, Washington and Howard, was kept in 
the rear to cover the retreat and check the advance of the enemy 
as occasion might require. Earl Cornwall is put General O'Hara 
in charge of a similar corps and there were soon collisions between 
the van and rear guards.f Where the fields were broad and 
the road straight the two armies could frequently see each other .% 
Lord Cornwallis, from the information in his possession, was con- 
fident that no passage of Dan River could be effected in time 
to elude him, and pressed forw r ard with assurance of repeating 
the scenes enacted the year before at Camden. Neither army 
partook of more than one meal a day, and with but slight inter- 
vals of rest, the exhausting march was kept up for three days 
and nio;hts. The English Earl was as much astonished as that 
ancient Egyptian king who saw Moses lead his host through the 
Red Sea, when he arrived and found that Colonel Carrington, 
the Quartermaster of the army, had provided abundant supplies 
of boats to speedily transfer the whole American army across 
Dan River, and in addition to this, Colonel Kosciusco had also 
constructed defences covering the place of crossing at Boyd s 

*Governor Graham's Lecture, page 185. tree's Memoirs, page I 16. 
JWheeler, vol. TI. page 171. 



Ferry. A- the last boat loads were securely ascending the oppo- 
site hanks, the baffled pursuers came to an impotent bait, and 
His Lordship found himself in a complete failure. 

Thus ended this famous retreat, which, commencing al < lowpens 
in South Carolina, had extended over a space of two hundred 
and thirty miles. It was as successful as Wellington's on Torres 
Vedra, and has been likened to Lhal of the ( rreeks under Xeno- 
phon. The brave pursuers were full of admiration for the saga- 
cious man, who could thus extract safety from the very jaws of 
danger. In high strategy there was qo parallel movement during 
the war, and it at once gave General Greene the lame of a great 
captain. The unhappy South, which had suffered so much from 
the mistakes, incaution and blunders of commanders, was at last 
assured that a consummate leader was heading the brave men, who 
had only needed military knowledge in their persistent efforts 
against organized and disciplined toe-. 

Lord Cornwallis was greatly surprised and chagrined, upon 
his arrival at Dan River, to find General Greene on the oppo- 
site side. He did not even know that the Americans had reached 
theriver until he learned of their safe passage, f He now saw that 
no hope remained of reaching his foes; and by easy marches he 
went to Hillsboro, where, on February 20th, he erected the royal 
standard, and issued a proclamation inviting all loyal people to 
repair to it and assist him in restoring the King's authority. 
This appeal, and Karl Cornwallis' known humanity, had con- 
siderable effect upon the Regulators in the country west of Haw 
River and north of Deep River, where so many men had been 
hampered by the oaths administered by Governor Tryon in 
1771. f 1 Ie felt for a few days that he had conquered another 
province for the King and sent out parties to bring in the Loy- 
alists for enrollment and other tot- of attachment to the royal 

General Andrew Pickens, with his new command of North 
( larolinians and a few men of his own State, had been follow ing 

Stc-iiiiiaii, rol. II. page 332. ^Governor Graham's Lecture, page i ss . 


in the wake of the invaders all the way from the Catawba. 
With him marched Major Joseph Graham, who had been so 
terribly wounded in the daring affair at Charlotte, the previous 
year. He had recovered and had enlisted, at his own expense, a 
corps of mounted riflemen.* By order of General Pickens, 
Graham, at daybreak on February 18th, with two companies, 
surprised and captured a picket at Hart's Mill, within a mile 
and a half of Lord Cornwallis' headquarters in Hillsboro. 
He at once retreated to a place of safety on Stony Creek, with 
his twenty-five prisoners. They had joined General Pickens 
and had halted for rest when the alarm was given of the ap- 
proach of the enemy. They ran to arms, expecting Tarleton and 
his troopers, but were overjoyed to find it was Colonel Lee and 
his bold Virginians, who were in the advance of General Greene's 
army on its return in quest of the enemy. Learning that Col- 
onel Tarleton had been sent westward with the ley-ion, they set 
out in search of him. By mere chance they suddenly came upon 
a body of Tories, four hundred in number, who were marching 
to Hillsboro to take service under Cornwallis. Fully expecting 
to meet Colonel Tarleton, they utterly mistook the complexion 
of the men before them. f Colonel Lee rode along their line as 
they shouted "Hurrah for King George." David Fanning was 
present and repeatedly warned them of their mistake. | They 
were undeceived as by a stroke of lightning. Suddenly the Vir- 
ginia bugles blew a charge and in a few minutes ninety of Col- 
onel John Pyle's Loyalists were dead upon the ground and al- 
most every man of the remainder had been struck down under 
the merciless sabres. Colonel Pyle had been unceasing in his 
incendiary efforts, throughout the war, but humanity shudders at 
the thought of the helpless dupes who so terribly atoned on thai 
fatal February 25th, for any mistakes in their polities. 

Lee and Pickens hurried from their slaughter of the Tories, to 
seek Tarleton, who was in the same vicinity. As tiny came in 

*Foote\s Sketches, page 2'u . ;•< tovernor Graham's Lecture, page 190. 

JCaruther's old North Statu, page 152. 


sight of his bivouac, they were joined by < * »1< »ri« I Preston of 
Virginia, with three hundred men. He was Beeking General 
Greene and knew not that he was still near the Dan River. It 
was late in the day, and halting for real they proposed to attack 
Tarleton the next day, but that sagacious partisan was gone with 
all his force when they sought him next morning. General 
Greene having refreshed his way-worn array and being re-in- 
forced by a brigade of* Virginia militia under General Steven-. 
re-crossed the Dan, February 23rd, and retraced his old route 
toward Guilford. On February 2f»th, Lord ( lornwallis, learning 
of the disaster to IVle, moved westward to I law River to be 
nearer the settlements of the Loyalist-, from whom lie yet ex- 
pected re-inforcements. 

General Greene took position between the upper branches of 
Haw River, and re-established the body of light troops under 
the intrepid Colonel Williams. These were kept ;( - a corps of 
observation between the two armies. In a series of manoem n -. 
Cornwallis' efforts to bring on a general engagement were baffled, 
until General Law. -on arrived with a brigade from Virginia and 
Generals Butler and Eaton of North Carolina, with the militia of 
their respective districts.* 

On March (>th, Colonel Williams, with the light infantry, be- 
ing considerably advanced at Whit-el's Mill, Lord Cornwallis 
made a dash to cut him off from the main army. In this affair one 
of the British officers engaged gained great applause in the 
A merican camp. Captain King, with his mountain riflemen, was 
posted at the mill. His sharp-shooters fired thirty-two deliberate 

>hot< at an enemy, who was seen approaching with great delib- 
eration and apparently absorbed in the movements of a body of 
his men, who were also in plain view. ( mi a fine black horse, he 
slowly and carefully forded the Reedy Fork, while manifesting 
in no way his attention to the bullets that hissed so closely by. 
Thev found out that this intrepid hero, who seemed to bear a 
charmed life, was the brilliantly accomplished Lieutenant-Col- 

•Governor Graham's Lecture, page 190. 


onel Wilson Webster, who, as chief of brigade, commanded the 
Twenty-third and Thirty-third Regiments of the British arim . 

On the 10th of March, General Greene, then at High Rock 
Ford, on Haw River, formed the resolution of attacking the en- 
emy.! The American army was moved westward about twenty- 
five miles and camped at Guilford Court House March 14th. \ 
On that day Lord Cornwallis' camp was at the Quaker meeting- 
house on Deep River, eight miles away. On the morning of the 
loth the reconnoitring party sent out by General Greene re- 
ported the enemy advancing down the Salisbury road. He at once 
drew up the American army in three lines of battle. The greater 
portion of the country was still in virgin forest. On a great hill, 
surrounded by others of less dimensions, was the American force 
posted. The front line, composed of the North Carolina militia, 
under Generals Eaton and Butler and assisted by Colonel Davie, 
occupied a position on the edge of a wood and behind a fence 
which ran parallel with the woods, on the edge of which, two 
field pieces were posted under Captain Singleton. An open field 
was in their front. Three hundred yards behind these was the 
second line, also consisting of two brigades of Virginia militia 
under Generals Stevens and Lawson. The third line was four 
hundred yards behind the second and w r as at the court-house. 
This consisted of Continentals. The Virginians on the right, 
under General Huger, and the Marylanders on the left, under 
Colonel Williams. Lieutenant-Colonel Washington, with his 
dragoons, a detachment of light infantry and the riflemen under 
Colonel Lynch, formed a corps of observation on the right. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, with his legion, another detachment of 
light infantry aud riflemen under Colonel Campbell, performed 
a similar duty on the left flank. In this position they awaited 
the approach of the enemy. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee and his 
command were sent forward and had a severe skirmish with 

*Lee's Memoirs ; Foote's Sketches, page 273. 
fGreene's report to Congress, March 16th, 1781. 
JFoote, page 275. 


Tarleton, in which Captain Armstrong charged with his company 
of dragoons and cut down thirty troopers. I rpon ( lolonel Tarle- 

ton's recen ing re-inforcements, Lee, according t * I < 1- . fell back 

tn the main army.* 

Lord Cornwallis, being satisfied from General Greene's move- 
ments thai he had resolved <>n the hazard <>l' a general engage- 
ment, <Mi the morning of March L 5th, sent Colonel John Hamil- 
ton and his regimen! of North Carolina Loyalists and others, as 
an escort with his wagons and baggage to Bell's Mill on Deep 
River. Atdaybreak he marched against the Americans, Ajb he 
approached the field, the I [ussar Regiment of Boseand theSeven- 
ty-firsl Regimenl (Highlanders), with the first battalion of the 
Guards as supports, were posted under Major-General Leslie as 
the right wing of the attack. On the left were the Twenty-third 
and Thirty-third Regiments, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Webster 
and supported by the Grenadiers and the second battalion of 
Guards. TheYagersand light infantry of the Guards, under 
Urigatlier-General O'Hara, occupied the wood on the left of the 
guns, under Lieutenant McLeod, and, with Tarleton 's legion, 
were held in reserve to act as occasion should require. 

The battle began at half past one o'clock P. M., by lire from 
the enemy'.- field guns. The British line moved steadily through 
the fields to the attack of the North ( iarolinians in the lir.-t line, 
until they were one hundred and fifty yard- distant, when some 
of them fired on the British, hut many left their place- without 

discharging their piece-.; The guns posted in the first line 

under ( 'aptain Singleton were now withdrawn and the only cred- 
itable fighting done Itv the men there, was by the volunteer- mi- 

der Captain Forbis of the I law fields. His men from the fence 
opened a fire which was very deadly, and only ceased when they 
were abandoned and in danger of capture.!] This gallant officer 

was mortally wounded as they fell hack. The Generals and 

General Greene's reporl to Congress. ("General Greene's Report. 
; Foote's Sketches, pages 275 and 275. 


field officers of the North Carolina brigades did their best to re- 
strain the retreat of their men, but all in vain! 

The second line behaved far better and the Virginia militia 
gave the enemy a warm reception.* General Lawson on the 
right, in the progress of the engagement, changed front to the 
left and then retreated precipitately. f The left of the second 
line, under General Stevens, was encountered by the force of 
( Jeneral Leslie, and fought with great obstinacy. Bose's Hessians 
were alternately driven and then allowed to advance until Gen- 
eral Greene ordered the retreat of the Continentals. 

Upon the retreat of General Lawson's Virginia militia, the 
British left under Colonel Webster, assailed the extreme right of 
the third line of the Americans. Here was posted the second 
regiment of Maryland Continentals, under Colonel Gunby. These 
gave way in an unaccountable manner and left at fearful disad- 
vantage their comrades, who were bravely standing their ground. 
At this juncture, Lieutenant-Colonel Washington made a furious 
charge with his dragoons upon a portion of the Guards, in which 
he was nobly assisted by the bayonets of the first Maryland 
Continentals under Colonel Granby and the command of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Howard. The English Lieutenant-Colonel Stew- 
art was slain by the sword of Captain Smith and that battalion 
driven back with great slaughter. Lord Cornwallis saw that 
the dav was lost unless this movement was checked. Though 
his own men were mowed down by the discharge of grape, Lieu- 
tenant McLeod was ordered to open the artillery upon the strug- 
gling mass of friends and foes. Thus Washington and his brave 
associates were compelled to retire. Their wasted ranks attested 
the fury of the contest and the persistence of this heroic band. I 

General Greene, seeing his brave Continentals in danger of 
being surrounded, ordered a retreat and Lord Cornwallis was too 
much crippled to follow. The troops withdrew from the field 
in good order and halted at Reedy Fork River, three miles from 

^General Greene's Report. J/NVheeler, vol. II, page 174. 

f Foote's Sketches, page '27<>. 


the scene of the contest. Here they were halted and drawn up 
until the stragglers were collected. General Greene had lost his 
guns, and also five hundred and fifty-two mm. : The battle was 
opened with the number of Americans more than double the 
force of Cornwallis, and even alter the flight of the militia, the 
proportion was thirty-two hundred under Greene to two thou- 
sand of the British. f On no field since the famous day al Agin- 
court, was English valor ever more splendidly vindicated. Corn- 
wallis headed a band of heroes, and in the glory of that day 
was wiped out all that could be -aid to his discredit for subse- 
quent disasters. Had he again encountered a Lincoln or a ( rates 
his long and able strategy would have culminated in magnificent 
success. As it was he had met with a foeman who had delib- 
erately prepared for the eheek received. Though Lord Corn- 
wallis was left in possession of the Held, he at once discovered 
that he was undone by the victory. Five hundred and thirty- 
two of his men were dead or disabled. The saddest blow of 
all was the fatal wound of the brilliant and renowned Colonel 
Webster. I [e had seemed invulnerable at Whitsell's Mills, when 
the best of marksmen so vainly sought his life, hut in the midst 
of his assault upon the Continentals be was so wounded that he 
died a lew days afterwards, and was buried .at Elizabeth town, in 
Bladen oounty.J He had won the highest admiration of both 
armies lor the uncommon nobility of his nature, and deserved 
as much historic reverence as has been vouchsafed the memories 
of Sir Philip Sidney and General Wolfe. Generals O'Hara and 
Howard were wounded, as was also Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton. 

So great was the British I08S that on the next day after the battle, 
the British army was put in motion for Hell's Mill, leaving the 
field and their wounded to the care of General Greene. TIi< 
night came on with torrents of rain, and the miseries of the for- 


saken wretches were unspeakable. Amid the thick darknessand 
drenching showers arose the cries of anguish and despair. War 
ha- it- pomps, and, ala>! too many such horrors as these.§ 

General Greene's Report. ^Governor Graham's Lecture, pag< 111' 
d < ornwallis' Report. \\ heeler, vol, II. page 17 1. 


Far different was the state of affairs in the American camp. 
This \vas on Troublesome Creek, ten miles from Guilford Court 
House. Having rested his men for three days, General Greene 
deliberately moved forward again to seek a renewal of the con- 
test. Lord Cornwallis sadlv recognized that his day of strength 
was gone by and that safety could alone he found in immediate 
retreat. He who had so long struggled for a battle had now no 
disposition for a renewal of the conflict, and he sorrowfully 
turned his face toward Wilmington. 

That place had been in occupation of the British, under Ma- 
jor James H. Craig, since January 29th, 1781.* This officer was 
a man of distinguished ability and had been the adjutant of 
General Burgoyne at Saratoga. He was knighted after the war 
and made Governor-General of Canada. f He came into the 
Cape Fear with four hundred and fifty troops, and was escorted 
by the British ships-of-war, Blonde, thirty-six guns; Ddight, 
sixteen; Otter, sixteen, and three armed galleys. The whole fleet, 
transports and all, were numbered eighteen vessels.;}; This occu- 
pation of Wilmington was to be a source of great and varied suffer- 
ing to the people of North Carolina. Major Craig was as heartless 
as he was capable. Full of contrivance, he added to large mili- 
tary experience, administrative ability and a vindictive memory 
of the overthrow of his old chief at Saratoga. lie was soon to 
make life insecure to every prominent Whig in one-half the 
State, and stirred up such a war of neighborhoods, that Tarleton 
even was shocked and declared that if it had continued much 
longer, North Carolina would have been depopulated. General 
Alexander Lillington was posted at Heron's Bridge, with a force 
of five hundred men, who acted as a corps of observation, and 
once had their quarters broken up by Major Craig.§ 

§Note — General Lillington was the grandson of Major Alexander Lilling- 
ton, who was Presidenl of the Council and ex-qfficio Governor of North Caro- 

*Life of Iredell, vol. 1, page 185; Political Magazine, February, 1781, page 60. 

fGovernor Swain's Lecture, page 134. 

iWilliam Hooper to Judge Iredell, February 13th, 1781. 

^Letter from Major fierce Butler to Judge [redell, March I lth, 1781. 


< reneral I rreene, upon hearing of Lord ( iornwallis' retreat, t"l- 
lowed in close pursuit.* Colonel Reade, with a new regiment 
of cavalry, in which Willie Jones was Lieutenant-4 tolonel, joined 
the pursuit, and there were strong hopes of capturing the English 
army before reaching Cross Creek, but the difficulty in bringing 
u|) his fresh supply of artillery, and the approaching expiration 
of the terms of enlistment of the Virginia militia, induced < ien- 
eral Greene to halt in the pursuil at Ramsay's Mills, on Deep 
River, where he arrived on the very day that Lord Corn wal lis 
moved off. f At this point General Greene determined to turn 
Prom the pursuit of Cornwallis, and, abandoning North Caro- 
lina, he went smith, with the hope of crushing Lord Rawdon. 
With Colonel Lee in charge of a van-guard of one thousand 
eight hundred men, the commander of the Southern army fol- 
lowed on April 7th. t Eight days later he joined General Marion 
on the Santee, and on the 19th the whole army encamped before 
Camden in South Carolina. Lord Cornwallis was completely 
surprised in these movements of his late antagonist and learned 
of them too late to aid the men whom Greene was seeking to 
crush. < >n the 25th, Rawdon attempted to surprise him at Hob- 
kirk's Hill, but the British were received with BO deadly a fire 
that they were driven back. Upon a fresh attack, they broke 
the American centre and General Greene ordered a retreat. Two 
days before, Marion and Lee had taken Fori Watson on the Pt e 
Dee, and Lord Rawdon retreated to Charleston. Colonel Davie 
was still all-important to the cause as the Commissary- General 

lin.i, in l'i'.C His grandmother Lillington was an Adams, from Massachusetts. 
< me of her daughters married Governor Walker, ami afterwards Edward 
Moseley. Another was wife of the first Samuel Swann. General Lillington 
left issue at his death, in 1786, one daughter, who married her cousin, Samp- 
son Moseley; and a son, George, who left a Bon, .!<>lm Alexander Lillington, 
who was last of his name. Hi- daughters, Mrs. Hardin of Hickory and Mrs. 
Dr. Anderson of Wilmington, are present representatives of the family.} 

Thomas Gilchrist to Judge Iredell, April 6th, 1781. 
tLife of Iredell, roL I. page 199. 
(Letter from George Davis, Esq., 1878. 


of the army, and was soon after sent on business to the Legisla- 
ture of North Carolina.* 

Lord Cornwallis did not linger long at Wilmington. At the 

nxl of April ho began his march along the course of the present 
railway leading northward. General Lillington's command was 
too small for him to confront the British force, but, with the aid 
of the militia, he covered the military depots of provisions, and. 
following upon the rear of the invaders, checked marauding and 
re-captured much of the plunder seized by those who were fol- 
lowing the army for such purposes. The mounted force of the 
Whigs under Baron de Glaubeck, though in a great degree un- 
armed, was especially effective.! 

As the British army approached Halifax, on the 4th of May, 
there was a large force of militia gathering from different quar- 
ters. Governor Nash, with four hundred men of Pitt, and a 
larger force from Edgecombe, and the militia of Northampton 
under General Allen Jones,]: were collected for defence. The halt 
at Halifax was brief, but long enough for Tarleton to find out 
how witty and incorrigible were the cultivated ladies of that re- 
gion in their attachment to the cause of independence^ On the 
14th of May, Lord Cornwallis passed the Meherrin River at 
Hicksford in Virginia, on his way to Petersburg.|| The hour 
was fast coming for his great disaster at Yorktown. He had ex- 

#Xote. — Mrs. Willie Jones, nee Montfort, was as ready asshe was beautiful 
and charming in character. She met Colonel Tarleton daring the halt of the 
British, and, upon his expressing a wish to see the famous Colonel Washing- 
ton, Mrs. Ashe, the sister of Mrs. Jones, told him he should have Looked he- 
hind at Cowpens. He lost his temper and denounced Colonel Washington as 
an ignorant boor. Upon which, Mrs. .Jones replied: "He know-. Colonel 
Tarleton, very well how to make Ins mark." She said this with a glance at 
Tarleton's wounded hand. The lieree Briton became so chafed that he was n 
luiked by Genera! Leslie, who was also present. 

*Wheeler, vol. II. page 197; Tarleton's Campaigns, pages 285 290. 

fLife of Iredell, vol. I, page 503. 

JJohn Johnston to Judge Iredell. May 3rd, 1781. 

||Tarleton's Campaigns, page 290. 


hibited ureal ability, a dauntless courage and uniform humanity 
in tin treatment of his foes. His last act in North Carolina was 
the hanging of two culprits, who had been guilty of criminal 
outrages on the people, contrary to His Lordship's positive 

The people of Albemarle had been in almost continual ex- 
citement from the time of General Leslie's occupation of Nor- 
folk, in the fall <>|' 1780. He was followed, upon his sailing 
south, by General Arnold, who had been made the commander 
of the expedition against Richmond. Since the death of Gen- 
eral Philips at Petersburg, he had beep in command of the 
British until the arrival of Lord Cornwallis. A permanent post 
seemed to have been established at Norfolk and Portsmouth, and 
General Gregory, with the militia of Albemarle country, was sent 
to the neighborhood to watch their movement-. While thus in 
eoramand of his brigade, a base and unworthy trick was played 
upon him by the officer in eharge of the British out-posts. Sev- 
eral letters were addressed to him insinuating that some criminal 
plot was on foot between General Gregory and the writer. These 
were purposely sent in such a way a- to fall in the hands of some 
of his officers. These were so duped that they arrested General 
Gregory on the eharge of treasonable correspondence. Although 
he soon established his entire innocence, the humiliation of the 
affair pressed heavily upon his sensitive nature.* In the latter 
part of June, the enemy made an attack upon General Gregory's 
force, which was successful in driving him back, but he resolutely 
held his position in the same vicinity up to the time of their with- 
drawal from Norfolk. f General Gregory was of tine presence 
and fond of dress. He was noted for his pleasant manner- and 
grandeur of bearing. 

The fust session of the Legislature in 17*1 occurred at Hali- 
fax, on the L 8th of January 4 Their attention was mainly given 

'Life of bedell, rol. I. page 519. 

\ Jasper Charlton to [redell, July 8rd, L781. 

: Public Act-, vol. I, page 296. 


to the defence of the State. Bills were passed t<> give more 
efficiency to the militia and for re-organizing the Continental 
battalions. These were reduced from six to four, and arrange- 
ments made for the speedy filling of their ranks, [mpressment 

had been necessary to supply the troops. Often when paper 
money had been given, the exchange was still compulsory.* Au- 
ditors for each district were now appointed to examine claim-, 
and when approved, public officers were ordered to receive them 
in payment of taxes. Colonel Davie's powers, as Quartermaster, 
were enlarged. The Board of War was discontinued and a simi- 
lar body, consisting of General Caswell, Colonel Alexander 
Martin and another, called the Council Extraordinary, was sub- 
stituted. It was further provided that in case it should be im- 
possible to convene the Assembly, by reason of the presence of 
the enemy, that Governor Nash and this Council should still re- 
tain executive functions.! 

There was another meeting of the General Assembly in June, 
1781, at the court-house of Wake, where now stands the city of 
Raleigh. § The day is not specified by Judge Francis Xavier 
Martin in his compilation. Thomas Burke of Orange was 
elected Governor, Abner Nash, the previous incumbent, having 
declined re-election. Governor Burke was a native of Ireland, 
and a man of rich endowments. He had been a physician, but 
had studied and practiced law with great success. He was bold, 
impassioned and highly intellectual. Like his generous people 
of the Emerald Isle, he clung to the things his heart approved, 
and was greatly admired and trusted by all parties struggling 
for the independence of America. He had been prominent in 
both the State and National Assemblies, and at the battle of 
Brandywine had left his place in Congress to share in the perils 
of the field. Great confidence was placed in his energy and 

*Life of Iredell, vol. I, page 485. 
fGovernor Graham's Lecture, page 17-"). 
jPublic Acts, vol. I, page 300. 
§Life of Iredell, vol. I, page 523. 


boldness, but the Legislature in its creation of the Council Extra- 
ordinary, took a step that called for \\\- protest. 1 1 « • told them 
thai it' be was to be hampered l>v a body unknown to the Con- 
stitution lir would resign the office they had conferred.* 

The Assembly further passed bills to raise troops out of the 
militia for the defence of the State. They levied a money and 
specific provision tax. Also for those who had inconsiderately 
taken British paroles; to compel those counties which were back- 
ward in furnishing their quotas of Continental troops; for the 
protection of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds from the enemy's 
cruisers: for prohibiting exportation of provisions; for draft- 
ing the militia to re-inforce General Greene's army; for vest- 
nig the Continental Congress with power to levy a duty of 
five per cent, on all foreign importations; to enable tin- Gov- 
ernor to procure tobacco for the purpose of exchange for arm-: 
compelling all fiscal agents of the State to account for public dues 
in their bonds; bestowing pension- on men disabled or wounded 
in the service of the State, and securing all articles left by the 
British in the State, whether taken from citizen- or others. The 
General Assembly adjourned in the middle of .Inly. The act 
creating the Council Extraordinary expired by limitation with 
the end of the session and was no more revived. 

It has been related in the preceding narrative how General 
Andrew Pickens succeeded the gallant General Davidson, upon 
the death of the latter at Cowan's fold in February. Soon 
after the destruction of Colonel John Pyle's Tories, Colonel 
Thomas Polk of Mecklenburg, succeeded to the same command. 
Rev. Dr. .lames Hall of Rowan, who had gone a- < teneral Ruth- 
erford's Chaplain in the Cherokee expedition, and who was so 
eminenl for piety, learning and patriotism, went as the bearer oi 
the request of the men <>\' Mecklenburg and Rowan to General 
Greene, and General Polk's commission was sent him just before 

I. iir of tredell, vol. I. page 523. 


the battle of Guilford Court House/ 1 His first motion in his 
new command had been to call out his men to resist the return <d' 
Cornwallis by the way of Charlotte and Salisbury. Upon hearing 
that he was gone by Cross Creek, he disbanded his force and 
awaited orders. There was a frightful visit of small-pox ranging 
along the recent line of march pursued by the British army, which 
was one of the many evils attendant upon their invasion. Gov- 
ernor Rutledge had been clothed with extraordinary powers, by 
the Legislature of South Carolina, and was in fact a dictator, as 
to the fallen fortunes of that prostrate commonwealth. He, at the 
time to which reference has just been made, authorized General 
Sumter, of his State, to raise a brigade in which the men were to 
equip themselves, but to be subsisted by the public and to be paid 
each a negro man for sueh service. Colonel William Polk of 
Meeklenburg,t Colonel Wade Hampton and Colonel Hill, all 
raised regiments, principally in North Carolina, for this new 
command of Sumter. f Mecklenburg, Rowan and the counties 
lying between Catawba and Yadkin Rivers, seemed alike ex- 
haustless in men and patriotism. Colonel Reade's new mounted 
regiment of dragoons had greatly distinguished themselves at 
Hobkirk's Hill, as was the ease with Major Eaton's battalion, 
(also North Carolinians) at Augusta, in which that brave spirit 
was mortally wounded, "who had served," said Colonel Henry 
Lee, "only a few weeks with the light corps, and in that short 
period endeared himself to his commandant and fellow-soldiers." 
Lieutenant-Colonel Willie Jones succeeded Governor Burke in 

fNoTE. — Colonel William Polk was the bod of General Polk. Like his 
patriotic father, he had been all the while in the service. He had been wound- 
ed at Germantown, where he won high credit for his valor. He w;h at tin 
Bide of Davidson when he fell dead on the Catawba, and was to be long tin- 
pride and ornament of his State. Dying, lie left Lieutenant-General Leonidaa 
Polk, Bishop of Louisiana, and Mrs. Kenneth Ray nor, to continue his virtues. 
I reneral Thomas Polk was cousin to Ezekiel Polk, grandfather of J. K. Polk. 

*General Joseph Graham's "('losing Scenes of the Revolution," University 
Magazine, June 1852. 
JGeneral Joseph Graham's (losing Scenes. 


the Continental Congress, aud bad nof an exteuded experience 
in arm- Colonel Benjamin Hawkins of Warren, likewise was 
selected !>v the Legislature of this year t<> the Continental Con- 
gress, in place of < 'on id in- Harnett. He belonged to a numer- 
ous family born t<> < '* ► I < > i n • 1 Philemon Hawkins, who was the 
Rudolph of a high and generous race. Colonel Benjamin Haw- 
kins was entering upon a round of public business, which, like 
that of his young neighbor Nathaniel Macon, was to be nearly 
co-extensive with a long and eminently useful lif'c.t Cornelius 
Harnett had met, alter many years of public service, thesaddesl 
of all political disabilities.! Cruel and crafty Major Craig had 
secured his betrayal and capture somewhere in New Hanover 
county, and this eminent patriot, who had so strenuously upheld 
the American cause, soon succumbed and died in captivity. He 
was very old, having been in His Majesty'- Council for North 
( 'arolina as far back as the time of ( rovernor Burrington. Heart- 
broken Genera] John Ashe, brooding still over the disaster at 
Brier Creek, an old man also, who left the field and laid down 
his arms and was only lagging as a superfluous veteran; — this 
venerable and brave man was sought out, and by corrupting his 
favorite servitor. Major Craig likewise effected his arrest. To 
add to the horrors of his long and brutal confinement, General 
Ashe was exposed to small-pox and contracted thai loathsome 

| Note.— Few families in North Carolina have produced so many useful men 
and women as were the issue of the firal Philemon Hawk in- Mini his wife I telia. 
Their Bons, John, Philemon, Benjamin and Joseph, were all men of mark, and 
left descendants still of the first respectability in the State. Philemon, -Jr.. 
left seven sons and five daughters. Among the latter, were Mrs. Sherwood 
Haywood, Mrs. W. T. Little, Mrs. Stephen Haywood, Mrs. William Polk and 
Mrs. Louie D.Henry. Six of the sons were graduates of Chapel Hill. Col* 
one! Benjamin Hawkins was, till late in life, a batchelor, but In- home was 
ever celebrated for elegant hospitality. It became a favorite resort of many 
eminent Frenchmen during the troubles of that unhappy land. Among others, 
• reneral Moreau found solace there, in his American exile.J 

Journals, 1781. ^Governor Swain's Lecture, page K'> s . 

Wheeler, vol. II. 

1781. DAVID FANNING. 323 

disease. He was released only to die at the house of his friend, 
Colonel John Sampson, who lived near the present village of 

King George was about the last man in Great Britain who 
eonsented to American independence. Major James H. Craig 
suited him so well that he was made a Baronet, and upon con- 
clusion of the war, was appointed the supreme British Governor 
of the remnant of territory left to the rule of the obstinate and 
implacable old King. If Craig suited his monarch, he too, was 
to find a subordinate who was to realize every savage and vin- 
dictive instinct of his tyrannous heart. In the county of Chat- 
ham had lived in profoundest obscurity an humble mechanic 
named David Fanning. He was ignorant, but not devoid 
of native talent. He was fiercer and far braver than Major 
Craig, but in saying this, all his excellencies of head and heart 
are included. No wild beast ever better loved the shedding of 
blood, and in the catalogue of crimes, there was not one in which 
he was not an adept. He was swift and sly, and tireless as a wolf, 
and, beyond all comparison, the greatest villain America has pro- 
duced. This man had now recommended himself to the com- 
mandant of Wilmington, by the assassination of Captains Duck 
and Dye and a murderous midnight assault upon sleeping Charles 
Sherry, all of whom dwelt upon Deep River. He was appointed 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the loyal militia and given a uniform 
early in the month of June, and at once commenced his career 
of blood. f 

Upon the capture of Wilmington and the advance of Corn- 
wallis from South Carolina, all the Tories in the broad re- 
gion embraced from the neighborhood of Yadkin River to the 
Neuse, arose in arms against the Whigs, who had hitherto held 
them in such close subjugation. There were but few in all this 
region favorable to the American cause, and Colonel Thomas 
Wade of Anson, with others, went for safety to the Whig sett le- 

*Wlieeler, vol. II, page 280. 

fDr. Oaruther's Old North State, pages L60 am! I <;•_'. 



ments uj the Neuse. A.fter Lord Corn wal lis had gone North, 

and ( reneral ( Sreene Into South ( larolina, it was concluded they 
might return undisturbed. Wade, with a Bmall party accom- 
panying his wagons and those of hi> friends had reached Piney 
Buttom, a small stream flowing into Rockfish Creek Dear Cross 
< 'reck, when they were set upon at oighl by a large band of Tories, 
which dispersed the men after murdering a portion, and then 
burned the plundered wagons. Colonel Wade amu-ed his friends 
and took vengeance upon his assailants.* This occurred in the 
month of May, and was the signal for the commencement of a 
series of reprisals on both sides, that seemed at one time could end 
only in the depopulation of that part of North Carolina. t Major 
Gainey, in the latter State, was a formidable competitor of Gen- 
eral Marion and sometimes extended his raids aero.-.- the border.J 
Governor Burke entered upon the discharge of the duties of 
his office as Chief-Magistrate, on dune 24th, 1781. On the 16th 
of the next month, Fanning, with forty men, suddenly da-hed 
into Chatham Court House, where a court-martial was in session. 
and captured the whole party, forty-four in number, who were 
sent forward by rapid stages to Wilmington, where the prisoners 
were confined, with the exception of one, who was paroled and 
suffered to return. § His next exploit was the attack upon the 
house of Colonel Philip Alston of Chatham. This gentleman 
lived upon the Horse-Shoe bend in Deep River. He was a man 
of 'wealth and consideration, and was the commander of the 
militia. He had recently chased Fanning on one of his forays, 

J/Xote. — Governor Swain thought, in his Chapel Hill lecture, that this cap- 
ture occurred on the L5th June. lie was evidently mistaken. Dr. Caruthera 
gives a letter from the prisoners, dated four days after the battle, which fi» - 
the time beyond doubt as given in the text. It was singular that 90 accurate 
a historian as the President of the State University should have overlooked this 

letter. He was a- judicious as enthusiastic, and to his labors we are indebted 

tor the noble tributes to North < larolina contained in the narrative of Mr. Ban- 

"Garuthera' I > 1 « 1 North state, page 384. fTarleton's Campaigns, page 321. 

{Governor Graham's Leetnre, page 1°7. 

1781. FIGHT AT ALSTON'S. 325 

and it was for this that the daring f're( hooter, with a small force, 
resolved to glut his vengeance. On Sunday morning, August 
8th, at daybreak, the sentinels outside of the house were sup- 
prised and captured on their posts, on the side by which the ap- 
proach was effected. Those on the other side of the yard were 
tired upon, but escaped into the building. Fanning had twenty- 
four men while Colonel Alston's garrison numbered twenty-six. 
Mrs. Alston kept her bed, and the children stood upon tables in 
the fire-places, so as to be protected from the musket balls by the 
brick chimneys. The doors being barricaded, the force was 
disposed over the house, which was a framed building, two stories 
high. The assailants took shelter behind the trees and fences, 
and a continuous fire went on for hours. A British officer of 
the Regulars was present, and getting tired of the slow progress 
of matters, proposed to Fanning that they should rush from 
theircover and break down the doors. Lieutenant McKay sprung 
over the fence, with the men, for this purpose, but was immedi- 
ately shot dead. This defeated the assault. A negro man with 
the Tories next attempted to approach the house on the side oppo- 
site to that of the attack, and he too, was disabled in his attempt 
to apply tire. It seemed that Alston would make good his 
defence, until late in the day, a sharp stratagem occurred to 
Colonel Fanning. A large ox-cart was loaded with hay and 
pushed before a party like a Roman testudo. Alston surveyed 
the preparation with a sinking heart. The load of hay would 
be a complete shelter from his rifles, and the flames must soon 
drive him to unconditional surrender. Mrs. Alston heard, from 
her refuge, the state of affairs, and with that sublime heroism so 
often seen in good women, when affairs are entirely hopeless, Aw 
left her bed, and unbarring the door, stood with a flag of 
truce to ask a parley. The firing ceased, and Fanning called to 
her to meet him half way. As they met she remarked, "We 
will surrender, Sir, on condition that do one shall be injured ; 
otherwise we will make the best defence we can ; and, if need lie, 
sell our lives as dearly as possible." Fanning, struck with the 
brave nobility of her carriage and word.-, at once acceded to her 


proposition, and the party was anharmed and immediately 
paroled. 3 " 
During the month of August, the Wliig forces in the country 

infested by Fanning were ordered out and met at McFall's Mills, 
under command of Colonel Thomas Wade of Anson. Tin-' 

numbered six hundred nun and wire posted, on September 1st, 
at Beattie's Bridge on Drowning ( 'nek, twenty miles smith of 
the point <>f rendezvous. Colonel Fanning was returning from 
Wilmington with forty men that morning, when he learned that 
Colonel Wade was in his neighborhood. He at once Bel out in 
his direction and at daybreak joined the elder Colonel Hector 
McNeill, who had assembled three hundred men. The Loyalists 
numbered but little more than half the force of their adversa- 
ries, but the daring spirit of Fanning prompted an immediate 
attack. Drowning Creek is a tributary of the Pee Dee, and the 
bridge then known as Beattie's was not far from the present vil- 
lage of Asheboro. "Wade had crossed to the eastern side of the 
Creek, and the Tories came southward down on the western bank. 
A swamp lay three-fourths of a mile east of the Creek. Across 
this quagmire, a causeway of poles had been made, along which 
would be the only line of retreat to Wade if defeated. ( lolonel 
McNeill was sent t" cul him oil' from the bridge and eleven men 
were left at the swamp crossing, fanning, with two hundred and 
forty men, then passed on to the attack of the Whigs. These 
were posted on an open hill near the end of another causeway. 
The Tories crossed this dangerous defile without opposition, and 

having dismounted advanced boldly to the assault and soon drove 
their foes headlong from the field. That any of the Whig- 
escaped was due to the fact that McNeill had not occupied the 
bridge. As it was, forty-four prisoners were taken and the whole 
command was chased from that part of the country, f 

This was the first affair of any magnitude in w hich Colonel Fan- 
ning had the command, lb- and the elder Colonel Hector Mc- 

•Caruther'B Old North State, pages \M 188. 

t< '.irut li.r's old North Btate, pages 171 ami 1 7*J 


Neill agreed to continue their forces in the field and to command 
on alternate days in an expedition against Governor Burke in 
Hillsboro.* The Scotch Highlanders, it is said, would never 
agree to march simply under the command of Fanning. First, 
because they disliked his murderous habits and also from the old 
traditions requiring men of their own clans as leaders in war.f 
Having rested their followers for three days, they set out for 
Hillsboro. In the late battle they had not lost a man killed and 
but three wounded. Colonel Wade had lost twenty-seven killed 
and of the prisoners, there were some who died of their wounds. \ 
The Whigs were so dispirited and crushed that not only was all 
opposition to the enemy's advance gone, but no information was 
sent ahead of the approaching danger to the village, then hon- 
ored as the capital of the State. Colonel Wade was no doubt 
patriotic and brave in his way, but this and the affair at Piney 
Bottom displayed his utter incapacity for all military command. 
On the morning of September 13th, the Tories, under Colonel 
McNeill, now increased by accessions to six hundred men, marched 
into the sleeping village and captured the Governor and his 
suite, besides other prominent military and civil officials, and 
having plundered the town, set out on the march for Wilming- 
ton. II 

*Note. — -I am indebted to Captain Guilford Dudley, now Private Seeretary 
to Governor Jarvis, for a view of the Southern Literary Mac/azine for the year 
1845. The narrative of Colonel Guilford Dudley of Halifax throws much 
light upon the whole movement of Fanning. Colonel Dudley had been in 
command of a mounted regiment for several months and was an officer of 
courage and vigilance. Governor Burke and General Butler desired that he 
should march for the lower Cape Fear, but the cavalry-men protested that 
they were promised that they should be kept in the Chatham country when 
they were enlisted, and refused to obey orders for the expedition. Genera] 
Butler lost his temper and disbanded the whole command. Fanning doubtless 
was apprised of the trouble in the Whig camp, and availed himself of the 
opportunity to make a raid upon Hillsboro. 

fGovernor Swain's Lecture, page 183; Caruther's, page 203. 
JCaruther's, page 174. 

||Governor Swain's Lecture, page 139; Judge Iredell to wife, September 
16th, 1781 


Many circumstances ti.\ upon Major Craig the c option of 

thi- bold and surprising exploit. The studied indignity with 
which Governor Burke was treated, was alone to be devised by 
the malicious tyrant who disgraced the name of Britain, in tin- 
slow tortures he could devise for the best men of America. 
Panning, with all his boldness, would not have gone into Buch 
peril for the capture of a man whose place could be bo easily 
supplied, unless by orders from higher authority. The same 
malignant spirit thai could murder, by foul imprisonment, the 
reverend and illustrious Ashe and Harnett, had contrived a trap 
by which he was to torture into a premature grave, another vic- 
tim, of whose nobility he was incapable of appreciation. 

The news of the raid upon Hillsboro sped upon the winds 
through those brave men of the Hawfields, who had, under For- 
bis, so nobly battled in the first line at Guilford. General John 
Butler had roused three hundred of his militia, and on the 14th 
of September, the next day alter they had taken Governor 
Burke, the Tories found their way barred at Lindley's Mill, on 
Cane Creek, in Chatham county.* It was a strong position and 
well chosen. Old Hector McNeill would have turned back 
and sought safety by another route, but was taunted with cow- 
ardice by McDougal. The order to advance was given and tin 
ancient Scut, with a full presentiment of death, moved at the 
head of his men, to be cut down at the first volley. Hi- fate 
was concealed and, time and again, the Tories were driven back by 
the murderous rifles of the WhigS.1 It seemed that the narrow 
defile was t" prove a grave to all who would not surrender, when 
Panning, ever fertile in expedient-, crossed at a ford and attacked 
the Whigs iii jlif rear. This so disconcerted General Butler that 
he gave immediate orders for retreat.;! Major Robert Mebane 

JNote. — General Butler bad always been famous for sudden retreats 
in the face of danger. Sis corps led in ili«' race at Camden as they ili'l nt 
Guilford. What infatuation could have retained him in command bo long, is 

C.-initlicr-. page 208. h aruthere, page 209. 


of Orange, the second in command, immediately countermanded 

this order, and facing a portion of the men to the rear, repelled 
the attack of Fanning and held at bay the force advancing from 
the north. When the ammunition was exhausted among his men, 
he was seen, bare-headed, distributing from his filled hat powder 
along the line, which was still pouring a deadly tire upon the 
baffled Tories. Thus, for sometime after the retreat of General 
Butler with a large portion of the small Whig force present, did 
Robert Mebane, with supreme and admirable courage, hold 
his place between the two lines of an overwhelmingly superior 
force of the enemy. Seeing his force too much reduced to effect 
the capture of those in his front, he withdrew by a flank move- 
ment from the field and was not pursued at all by the terribly 
punished raiders.* A full hundred men were slain in this bloods 
encounter, and many were wounded. f Of these, by far 
the greater number were Tories, including their commander, 
McNeill and Major Rains. The Whigs lost Colonel Luttrell 
and Major Nails. They were in such good spirits that the pur- 
suit was continued with the hope of recovering Governor Burke, 
but with no avail. 

Upon the capture of Governor Burke, Alexander Martin of 
Guilford, who was speaker of the Senate, became, by virtue of 
his office, Chief-Magistrate of North Carolina.]: He had been 
succeeded in command of the first North Carolina Continental 
Battalion, by the gallant Colonel Thomas Clark of New Hanover, 

one of the mysteries of history. The men of his mime were generally Regula- 
tors and it may be his influence over them, was the secret of his holding a 
position for which he was unfitted. 

*Note. — Major Robert Mebane had been an officer of the North Carolina 
Continental line taken at Charleston, and had been exchanged recently, but 
his men, it is probable, had not been assembled. He was the SOD of Alexan- 
der Mebane, whose posterity have been so numerous and eminent in the South. 
They were distinguished for their devotion in the Revolution and subsequent 
usefulness in North Carolina. Several have tilled great places in State and 

fCaruthers, page 215. ^Governor Swain's Lecture, page I :•>!•. 


who was a brother of Mia. William Hooper. Be had hen ex- 
changed, and was airain with hie regiment under General Greene, 
in S.mth ( 'arolina. Colonel ( 'lark wasae much distinguished for 
courage as for military ability, and was one of the very best 
officers of the State.* 

Elizabethtown, upon the (ape Fear River, where the gentle 
hero, Colonel Wilson Webster, was Bleeping in his new grave, had 
been established by Major Craig as an out-post, and was partly 
under command of Colonel John Slingsby. This cultivated and 
reputable gentleman was an English merchant, who had been a 
resident of Wilmington, hut was induced by Craig to assume 
command of Brunswick and Bladen counties. From the fair 
regiou of the Cape Fear, which had been the seal of bo much 
elegant opulence and culture, every Whig household had hern 
driven for refuge by the relentless espionage and cruelty of the 
heartless man who held command in Wilmington. Far up in 
Duplin and Sampson the wretched fugitive bewailed their exile 
and the ruin of their fortunes. About the middle of September, 
1781, sixty of them, mostly cultured gentlemen, assembled under 
Colonel Thomas Brown, and resolved on a midnight assault on the 
Tories under Slingsby. f Colonel Brown had -ecu Bervice under 
General Hugh Waddellas far hack as that gallant officer's expe- 
ditions in the French war. He had been at Alamance, and 
Thomas Owen had also been in arms on the terrible field of 

Federal ml.'. William Mebane of Mason Hall In Orange county, was nephew 
of Colonel Robert, and married Mary Wood of Bertie. I>r. John A. Mebane 
of Greensboro, also a nephew, married her cousin, Celia Button, <>t' the Bame 
county. I>r. A. W. Mebane, father of Mrs. John Pool, was the bod of the 
former, and the gallant Lieutenant Mebane, who was -lain at Monterey, in 
M< rico, was si .n of the latter. 

tNoTB.— Colonel Slingsby left a daughter, who married the first Wil- 
liam Bingham, lie left a remarkable posterity, who, with himself, hare won 
the foremost reputation in the South as teachers of preparatory reboots. 
Mr. Bingham commenced teaching in Wilmington, hut removed to Chatham 

and then to < Grange. 

Judge lndell to wife, August 29th, 1781. 
Archibald Maclaine to Iredell, September 21, 1781. 


Camden, and with Howe in the Norfolk expedition of 1775. 
They readied the river side, opposite their enemies, and found 
that every boat had been removed. But they were at home, 
and knew that by deep wading they could cross in safety. Si- 
lently they passed over with their clothes and guns above their 
heads. They ascended the bluff, and going up the river a mile 
they came to the village of Elizabethtown. In two hours from 
the time of their passage of the river they drove in the pickets, 
and following on with a rapid and well sustained attack upon 
the main garrison of three hundred men, they threw them into 
disorder. The Highlanders soon rallied to the call of Slingsby 
and Gadden, but the desperate onset of the cavaliers was not to 
be resisted. Colonel Slingsby fell mortally wounded, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Gadden lav dead on the field. Brown, with 


great coolness, gave such orders as indicated a numerous command, 
composed of different corps, and the terrified Scotchmen, after 
losing nineteen of their number, fled in disorderly rout. Brown, 
Owen, Morehead, Robeson and Ervine, all manifested romantic 
courage in this most desperate and successful foray, which broke 
so completely the Tory influence in that portion of the State.* 

By a general cartel, agreed upon by General Greene and Lord 
Cornwallis, in the month of April, there had been a full ex- 
change of prisoners. f The Continental Battalions of North 
Carolina, then four in number, were tilled by a return of the re- 
leased veterans, who had been inactive since the fall of Charles- 
ton. Thev were then under the command of General Jethro 
Sumner, who had been constantly in the field since his assumption 
of the command of the Third Continental Battalion, in 177<i. 
His bravery, persistence and patriotism had been signalized on 
every field, and was soon to be illustrated in a memorable con- 
flict. Besides the North Carolina Continental- there were two 
full battalions of militia. 

In the early days of September, General Greene was .still en- 
camped with his army upon the high hills of the Santee. This 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 39. 

fCaruthers, pages 101 and 402; Graham's Closing Scenes of the Revolution. 



was about thirty miles below Camden and the Bame distance 
above Nelson's Ferry. Prom this position he moved with the 
whole army to Manigault's Ferry, a few miles above Nelson's. 

The British at the latter place, in consequent fthis movement, 

retired to Monk's Corner, but returned upon finding that ( reneral 
Greene did no1 continue his advance. This last movement of 
the enemy under Colonel Stewart, who had succeeded Lord 
Rawdon in command, led to the suspicion that they entertained 
the purpose of crossing Santee River at Nelson's Ferry. Gen- 
eral Greene therefore ordered Colonel Lee to cross with the 
legion and obstruct any such movement on the part of the 
enemy. In the meanwhile, the militia of South Carolina as- 
sembled in sufficient numbers on that side of the river to cap- 
ture twenty of the British who had landed, and they thereupon 
abandoned the prosecution of their purpose, and returned to 
Eutaw Springs, six miles from General Greene's camp. On the 
morning' of September 8th, the American army marched in 
the direction of the enemy and soon encountered a British forag- 
ing party. The front line of the Americans was then composed 
of General Marion's regiment, General Sumter's under Colonel 
Pleasant Henderson of Orange county, North Carolina, Colonel 
Henry Lee's legion and General Pickens' corps. These became 
generally engaged a mile and a half from the Springs. Pickens' 
men of South Carolina on the left, behaved well, breaking and 
readily rallying again. The North Carolina militia behaved far 
better than at Guilford, but Colonel Farmer, who commanded, 
trained no credit and greatly injured their effectiveness by un- 
soldierly conduct.* The second line, composed of the North 
Carolina brigade of Continentals under General Sumner,f the 
Virginians on the left, consisting of two battalions, and two bat- 
talion.- of Marylanders in the centre. Sumner's brigade was 

tN'oTK. — Tin- three battalions constituting t } i « - North Carolina brigade were 
commanded respectively by Colonel J. I'.. Ashe, Major John Armstrong and 
Major Beading Blount, Colonel Ashe bad been in 1 1 1 « - army Bince the war 

\V. Hooper to Judge [redell, October 1st, 1781. 


first engaged, and then Colonel Campbell's Virginians on the left 
came into action and a heavy fire was maintained by these two 
corps for two hours. The South Carolina troops ordered to 
align themselves with the Virginians, bravely bore their part, 
and, upon the order for a bayonet charge, the enemy in that quarter 
broke and fled. They were pursued for several miles through 
their encampments, until, rallying upon a large brick house, in 
which they took shelter as a centre, with this and other farm 
houses, they were so securely posted that General Greene thought 
it imprudent to press them further, and withdrew his troops.* 
The British loss, in killed and wounded, amounted to seven hun- 
dred, and five hundred and twenty-seven prisoners, while the 
American loss, in killed and wounded, was four hundred and 
fifty-one, and seventy missing. 

North Carolina furnished more than half the troops with which 
General Greene fought this brilliantly contested field. Three of 
the seven battalions of Continentals were of that State, as were 
also two of the militia battalions, besides Colonel William Polk's, 
and others in Sumter's command. t The same State lost Major 
Rutherford, Captains Goodwin, Goodman and Porterfield, and 
Lieutenants Thomas Polk and Dillon killed. Colonel William 
Polk and Colonel Pleasant were both wounded. % The two armies 
were nearly equal in numbers and fought with such valor as was 
seen in no other general action of the war, as was well attested by 

began, and was highly considered. He was son of Governor Samuel Ashe. 

Armstrong had won high credit at Camden. 

*Note. — The foregoing account of this battle does not agree in all respects 
with those of General Greene, and Colonel Lee, in his Memoirs. It is fit nn a 
letter from William Hooper, who gave Colonel Davie, Captain Pendleton, 
aide-de-camp, and Colonel Ashe as his authorities. Like all human witnesses 
there is disagreement in minor, but unity in the main particulars. The field 

was so famous and creditable that this statement seemed entitled, from its s ve, 

to a place in North Carolina history. 

tLife of Iredell, vol. I, page 499; General Graham's Closing Scenes. 

JW. Hooper to Judge Iredell, October 1st, 1781. 

;:;i BISTORT 01 NORTH I LROLUS \ 1781. 

the great loss. About two thousand men on either side were en- 
gaged and more than twelve hundred of them were disabled. 
No more eloquent tribute is possible in recounting their heroism 
than this simple fact. 

Major ( Jraig, in bis occupancy of Wilmington, was -till a source 
Mi' great suffering to the State of North Carolina. A.fter his ex- 
pedition t<> New-Bern, in the middle of August, he contented 
himself within his fortifications, and left to David Panning the 
cruelty of executing his vindictive hatred to the Americans. 
Governor .losiah Martin had accompanied him in his march of 
devastation in the summer, and had looked for the last time upon 
that beautiful palace, from which he had, in year- gone by, so 
sternly thwarted the wishes ot* a loyal people. A tender memory 
of the lair hoy who had died on the eve of the great struggle, 
ha- hem supposed, as the moving cause of the whole expedition. ' 
Four hundred British regulars and as many more Loyalists in 
arms had formed this raiding party, which marched, unopposed, 
from Wilmington to New-Bern, and from there to Snow Hill. 
in Greene county. At that point, hearing of General Anthony 
Wayne's approach, with eleven hundred ( lontinentals, they retired 
to th<' works surrounding the city at the mouth of the Cape 

Why General Lillington and his force made no opposition to 
this foray, does not appear. lie had fully five hundred men 
shortly before; hut he might well hesitate to encounter the lar- 
ger force of Craig, as four hundred men of the column were regu- 
lars, before whom militia were at that day too often in the habit of 
fleeing. It may occur to some that General Lillington might 
also have intercepted some of the numerous parties led out under 
Fanning, lint let it he remembered how Colonel Mosby, in the 
late war, baffled the vast force of the I 'nited State- and for years 
continued hi- raid- almost in Bight of the national capital. The 
evil was, however, soon to be abated. General Rutherford, upon 

♦Governor Swain's Lecture, page L05. of [redell, vol. I. pages 682 586 


his exchange, resumed his old command of the heroic and tire- 
less men of* Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties. His 
indomitable spirit had not been palsied by his long confinement 
at St. Augustine. By the 1st of October, he assembled fourteen 
hundred of his militia for the expulsion of Major Craig and his 
bandits from the State. Of this force, three hundred and fifty 
were cavalry under Colonel Robert Smith of Mecklenburg. 
Major Joseph Graham of the same county, with the dragoons 
and a company of mounted infantry, led the advance, and at 
Rockfish Creek, on the 15th of October, first fell in with a force 
of the Tories. Fortv of them, under voung Colonel Hector 
McNeill, were charged and dispersed by the gallant Graham. 
Following the trail of the scouting party, an abandoned camp was 
soon found, from which six hundred men had just fled. These 
were followed, to no purpose, in the swamps. They were joined 
by a small party of horse, under Colonel Thomas Owen, whose 
knowledge of the lower country must have been of great import- 
ance. Moving cautiously, they again encountered another party 
of the Loyalists at Raft Swamp. These were charged and routed 
also with a loss to them of sixteen killed and fifty wounded. This 
completely broke the spirits of the enemy and they fled for pro- 
tection to the fortifications of Wilmington. 

About this time Governor Alexander Martin visited General 
Rutherford's camp, with a small escort, but after a short stay, re- 
turned up the country. On October 23rd, the army left Brown 
Marsh about noon and Colonel Smith was sent with cavalry south 
of the Cape Fear; the main body having crossed at Waddell's 
Ferry, moved to invest the town of Wilmington on the north. 
The cavalry passed down the river and assailed ineffectually some 
of the outworks. By orders from General Rutherford, Colonel 
Smith detached Major Graham, with ninety mounted men, to cut 
off supplies being sent the British from Lockwood's holly, on 
Shallot River. This party had reached Seven Creeks, near the 
South Carolina line, when at night they were assailed by Major 
Gainey, the redoubtable competitor of Francis Marion. Major 
Graham, though completely surprised by the sly approach of the 


South Carolina Loyalists, rallied his men at once, and, with his 
dragoons, sword in hand, beat the discomfited assailants from his 
bivouac, with the loss of one killed and three wounded. 
On the next day, Colonel Henry Lee of Virginia, arrived from 

that State with the intelligence that Lord Cornwallis had Bur- 
rendered with bis army, at Yorktown, on the 19th of October. 
This gallant officer was on his way to the South, and occasioned 
great joy in the camp of the American-. On the next day, Gen- 
eral Rutherford moved out his army to the attack, and reached 
Shaw's Farm, four mile- from Wilmington. Two boats were 
sent in advance and beheld Major Craig with the last of his 
ships far down the river, lying at a place known as the Flats. 
This was the 18th day of November, 1781, and thus, alter bo 
long a period, the last vestige of British dominion had forever 
perished in North Carolina. With the. exception of skirmishes at 
Moore's plantation and at Big Bridge, ten mile- from the town, 
there had been no fighting preceding its evacuation.* 

After great and persistent efforts, the last invader was driven 
from the soil of North Carolina. The people had Wen beggared 
in the fierceness of the struggle. Want was everywhere, and in 
too many households this hard life of denial had produced con- 
cession in order that Major Craig's flesh-pots at Wilmington 
might be reached. lint at last there was a promise of deliver- 
ance. The news from Yorktown had gone out to the world and 
Lord North was wildly repeating at London: "Oh Cod! it i- 
all over." There was now no fear that the American people 
would Ik/ subjected to the hard measure of Ireland's treatment 

Note.— The foregoing account of Rutherford's capture of Wilmington i- 
condensed from the accounl of General .l<>--<]ih Graham, who was an eye-wit- 
ness and distinguished actor in the whole drama. General Graham'a great 
funic a* a cavalier was the tit prelude in the noble ami useful career afterwards 
vouchsafed North Carolina and the nation. Two of lii> Bona reached promi- 
nence in our State, and in tin' case "t Governor Graham, a reputation even 
surpassing lii- Bather's was achieved. < >m- of General Graham's daughters 
married I>r. K. II. Morrison, whose daughters were the wives of Generals T 
J. Jackson and I ». II. Hill. 

1781. THE INSANE KING. 337 

by Great Britain. They not only would not tax America 
against the wishes of the people, but England had lost forever 
the fairest jewel in the crown. There have been few sadder 
pictures than that of aged George III., still exclaiming, in his 
insanity, "Oh give me back my colonies." 

*Note. — -It may lie supposed that some of the foregoing strictures upon 
Major Craig are unduly severe, but history requires that men should he held 
responsible for undue harshness and cruelty in time of war. Major Craig, in 
a smaller sphere, was capable of all the studied atrocity which has clouded the 
tame of the Duke of Alva, and will in future times visit, with retributive 
odium, that of General Philip Sheridan, of our own day and generation. 



A . I>. L7 82 TO IT B5. 

ition <>t' active hostilities -The British garrisons of New York Carleton 
and Leslie are watched by armies under Washington and Greene -Return 
of Governor Burke from captivity— The story of his ill-treatm< nt He re- 
sumes official functions and is defeated by Alexander Martin— Complexion 
of the Assembly — Equity jurisdiction conferred on the Superior Courts 
( Solonel Davie and North < !arolina troops in < rreene's army < lonfiscation — 
Land grants to < reneraK S-reene and tin- North < Jarolina ( iontinentals AJfred 
Moore succeeds James [redell as Attorney-General — Congressional dele- 
gation—Articles of < i ^federation — Trials of < lolonel Bryan, John Hampton 
and White at Salisbury — Davie and Moore as advocates— North Carolina 
Bar in 1782— Fanning again- News of peace sent to America by La- 
Favetn — Disbanding of the American armies— Legislature meets at Ilills- 
boro — Prominent members Issue of funds— Land officers of John and 
Martin Amstrong— Further confiscation of Loyalists' property— General 
ETowe protects the Continental Congress against the Philadelphia mobs 

Members of Cpngn Official proclamation of peace— Feeling in North 

Carolina against the lawyers, on account of their defence of returning 
Tories— Colonel John Hamilton. Captain Fraser and others— Society of the 
Cincinnati — Death of Governor Burke— Judge A.she and the lawyers As- 
sembly of 1784—4 (ffersof the Western Territory to the United Stab - Boun- 
ties to the Continentals < officers of the late line Commissioners of Confis- 
cation Struggle over the repeal of Confiscation acts General Caswell 
again Governor— Repeal of the cession of Tennessee Members of Con- 
gress John Sevier begins trouble in the West in his attempted State of 
Prank land — Governor Caswell's proclamation— John Tipton adheres to 
North Carolina -Commissioners of Commerce Importance of the Confed- 
eration and the origin of the ''Three-fifths Rule" in counting slave popu- 

After seven year- of suffering, want and unremitting eflbrl 
in the public defence ••ante a season of res! and recuperation 
to the war-worn and exhausted people of North Carolina. The 
refugee Whigs came back to their ruined bomes, and with hope- 
j"nl loan- addressed themselves to the work of restoring the olden 
prosperity. Ravaged bomes wore t<> be re-built and the grown- 


up fields cleared of intruding bushes. With Major Craig, as he 
.sailed past Fort Johnston at the mouth of the Cape Fear, passed 
the last of the British invaders from a realm sanctified in the 
multiplied agonies and blood of the people. With the battle 
of Eutaw Springs, the capitulation at Yorktown, the war 
practically closed in America. The resentment and obstinacy of 
King George III. vet gave it a technical existence, but to all 
practical purposes a truce was understood to be the order of the 
day, and there was little or no bloodshed save in private brawls. 
Sir Guy Carleton, in Xew York, and General Leslie, the British 
commander in Charleston, were closely observed by the patriot 
armies and their allies, but the only notice taken of each other 
by the opposite camps was in stately and respectful letters sent 
ever and anon bv flay; of truce between the lately belligerent 

General Washington was strenuous in his warnings against re- 
laxing the efforts of the different States in keeping up their armies 
at the two points still occupied by British troops. The wise chief 
feared a fatal feeling of security would mar all that had been 
accomplished, and that the English Ministry would be encour- 
aged to fresh exertions by the relaxation of America. f In the 
<ase of North Carolina, there was no fault of this kind. The 
levies of Continentals she had sent to South Carolina were in oo 
need of re-inforcement as to men, but the great difficulty of sup- 
ply as to clothes and food could only be met by specific provision 
taxes and a ruinous system of impressments. J Under these cir- 
cumstances, in the absence of available funds, the condition of 
the Southern Army became deplorable.^ The suffering was ter- 
rible, and that freemen could be held in the tedious camps under 
such hardships was the noblest evidence of their surpassing 
patriotism. Heroes alone would have submitted to the -low 
torture and humiliation of such a life. 

Washington's Writings, vol. VIBE. 
fWashington to Greene, December 18th, 1781. 
JLife of Iredell, vol. II. page 2. 



Governor Thomas Burke had escaped from his captors and 
repaired to Salem, toward the end of January, L782. From the 
moment of his capture he had been subjected to studied insult 
and hardship. He was forced by Ids inhuman captors t<> walk 
the dreary roads which lay between Hillsboroand Wilmington. 
Major Craig noi only refused t<> parole him but at once shipped 
him to Charleston, where, in addition to the deadly miasms, he 
was placed among a gang of Tories upon James' Island, who Boon 
gave him to understand that his life was to be taken by assassi- 
nation.!' lie applied to General Leslie for a parole to his own 
State or some other Southern locality; or to be exchanged ('"ran 
equivalent, or it" both these requests should be refused, thai he 
might be transferred to some place where his life would noi be in 
danger. No direct answer was ever returned to his application 
by Leslie, l»ut he was informed thai Major Craig had made special 
request in his case, that he should he indefinitely detained until 
the end of hostilities; so that it' the atrocious Panning should he 
captured and punished as his crimes deserved, that Governor 
Burke might he on hand to suffer by way of retaliation. The 
man thus foully and inhumanly tortured was a high-souled and 
courteous gentleman. He had tilled, for years, the highest places 
of trust in America, and was the Governor of a great State. He 
was used to the respect and almost adulation of society, where 
his culture and winning manner made him universally beloved. | 
I le was the Captain-< Seneral and ( lommander, under the ( '(insti- 
tution, of all the force- of the State of North Carolina, and was 
therefore entitled to exchange under the cartel. He was told 
that this only applied to ( 'ontiiientals and not to militia and civil 
officers. This was a dishonest evasion, for General Rutherford, 
who was captured at Camden, in command of his militia, had 
just been exchanged and had put to flight this very Major Craig, 
who to the baseness of hi> cruelty was adding the crime of pre- 

Caruthers' Old North State. 
[-Governor Burke to Willie Jones, 1782. 
(Governor Graham's Lecture, page 200. 


varication, by supplying General Leslie with arguments which 
only amounted to positive falsehoods. 

The cruel and unjustifiable confinement of Governor Burke, 

and his parole only to such limits as subjected him to imminent 
danger of assassination, was a violation of all civilized military 
usages, and could only be vindicated by the sordid minds dispen- 
sing such law and equity as had been lately vouchsafed Colonel 
Hayne. Stung by his reflections upon the hardships and igno- 
miny of his treatment, the brave and magnanimous Burke, 
knowing he was held as a hostage for bandits, yet advised the 
most rigorous punishment of such outlaws, without regard to 
consequences to himself. Worn out with the slow agony of his 
position, the Governor at last considered himself released from 
the obligations of his parole, and effected his escape to North 

It had been expected that the Assembly would convene at 
Salem, in January, but for some cause this did not occur, t In 
the meanwhile, Governor Alexander Martin became juvietw officio 
by the expiration of the old Legislature, of which he had been 
elected Speaker. If Governor Burke had any hesitation before, 
as to resumption of power, he now yielded to the public necessity 
and again became Governor in April.J 

The Legislature met April 13th, 1782, at Hillsboro, and re- 
mained in session until May 12th. General Caswell was made 
Speaker of the Senate and Thomas Benbury retained the Chair 
of the House.§ Governor Burke had but a short lease of 
restored authority. His re-election was defeated by Alexander 

£Xote.— Governor Swain asserts, <>n page 138 of his admirable Lecture, that 
Caswell was still in command of the militia of the whole Slate, in August, 
L781, but beyond a general bureau supervision, il does not appear that he took 
any further part after the battle of Camden. It is a mystery thai lie. in such 
a position, should have waited till Rutherford's return for the expulsion of 
< !raig. 

'Wheeler, vol. II, page :534. tl.ife of Iredell, vol. II. page -. 

JW heeler, vol. II, page :;:'»:;. 


Mat-tin <m the ground of bis recent violation of bis parole.* 
Such spotless gentlemen as Johnston, Hooper, [red el I and Mac- 
laine were still his unshaken friends and be found the warmest 
welcome in the highest social circles, bnl the members of the 
Legislature could not find it consistent with their sense of 
duty to condone entirely his conduct, and in so doing, they broke 
his sensitive heart. t He regarded their action as the omen of a 
perpetual stigma upon his fame and he -non sank into a premature 
grave, [f Colonel Martin and his friends,for hi- own gain, thus 
crushed a proud and loyal spirit, lie abundantly justified the 
contemptuous opinion entertained by Colonel Davie and the 
Continental line,* as to the old Regulator's courage and princi- 

This Legislature contained a number of new members, who 
were to achieve fame and usefulness. From ( !howan,came< !harles 
Johnson of Bandon, a tine country seat overlooking the noble 
river bearing the same name as the county he represented, lb- 
was a man of great judgment and discretion and wasjusl enter- 
ing upon a long and distinguished public career.|| Mathew Locke 
was the head of a numerous and wealthy family in Rowan, and 
was brother of Colonel Francis Locke, the hero of Ramsour's 
Mill. Joseph Riddick of Grates, was remarkable for his good 
sense and strong will. He lived to see a whole generation pass bv. 
while a member of the Legislature. Benjamin William- of 
Johnston, and afterwards of Moore, also was on his way to con- 

JNote. -Colonel Wheeler and .Mr. ftfcRee both Bay Burke was Governor 
until December, 17^'J. This is a mistake. < >n page 17. vol. II of [redell's 
Life, is ;i letter from A. Martin, dated June 24th, showing be was then <;<.v- 
ernor beyond all peradventure. 

Note. He married the daughter of Rev. Charles Barle, who was a quasi 
Bishop of the Episcopal ( Ihurch in North I Carolina, previous t" the election of 
Mr. Pettigrew, after the war. 

Wheeler, vol. II. page 388. f-Life of Iredell, vol. I. page 548. 

(Life of Iredell, vol. I. page '■'>. 

1782. LEGISLATORS. 343 

sideration and public station. Edward Starkey, the son of the 
colonial Treasurer, sustained the family credit and that of his 
native Onslow, but greater than any of these was Richard Dobbs 
Spaight of New-Bern. He had come from the University of 
Glasgow just previous to the battle of Camden and was General 
Caswell's aid-de-camp on that fatal Held.* His father was the 
nephew of Governor Dobbs and this young member was soon to 
become the most distinguished native-born North Carolinian of 
his day. Hooper was returned by but one vote over Major John 
\Valker,f while General Person seemed entitled to a seat by pre- 
scription. Timothy Bloodworth, Colonel William Lenoir, Gen- 
eral Rutherford, Nathaniel Macon, Waightstill Avery and Colonel 
Thomas Wade must have sadly missed Willie Jones, then far 
away from the old theatre of his glory; an unwilling attendant 
upon the Continental Congress. This was to be the only instance 
in a long life of his abandonment of aversion to such places. 

This able Legislature saw that the condition of the State was 
such as to require all their wisdom and patriotism in efforts for 
the public relief. Equity jurisdiction was given to the Superior 
Courts, which had before only exercised that pertaining to the 
Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas in England. ;£ A 
new circuit was established for the western counties and the terms 
ordered to be held at the court-house of Burke, which was named 
in honor of General Morgan, the victor at Cowpens. In conse- 
quence of the numberless abuses and hardships attendant upon 
the system of impressments previously in use, the quartermas- 
ter and commissary departments were abolished, and County 
Commissioners restored.! The specific tax on grain and meal 
was increased. Governor Martin soon informed Colonel Davie, 
who was Commissary-General of the Southern army, that he felt 
it his duty to dismiss the latter's agents in North Carolina, and 
Davie replied: "I am sorry Your Excellency should feel a pang 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 174. ("Hooper to Iredell, April 8th, 1 i 82. 

JJudge Martin's Public Acts, vol. I, page .'11 'J. 


on thai subject, as they have already dismissed themselves." 
The great partisan officer, who had won renown in hie contests 
with Tarleton in the field, had Bhown equal ability in the man- 
agement of his complex accounts, and they were settled to his 
and the government's satisfaction. Like General (incur, who 
had been for two year.- General Washington's quartermaster, 
this elegant and knightly gentleman had subordinated his love 
of fame to a supreme devotion to his half-famished brethren in 


In addition to the foregoing legislation, an act was passed di- 
recting the ~al<- of confiscated lands and chattels belonging to 
certain rich Loyalists mentioned in the bill.f The proceeds of 
such sales were directed to be paid over by the ( lommissioners to 

the Treasurer. A reasonable portion of the real estate and chat- 
tel- was directed to be left for the wives and children of any 
Loyalist who had such connections in the State. Robert Morris' 
new Bank of North America, was likewise endorsed and recog- 
nized and a heavy penalty laid upon counterfeiting it- notes.:] In 
view of the utter prostration of both Continental and State cur- 
rency, this Legislature likewise determined upon some substantial 
benefit to the brave men who had been and were still in the pub- 
lic service a- soldiers. Twenty-five thousand acre- of the lands 
belonging to the State were granted to Major-General Greene 
for hi- great and signal deliverance of the Southern people. Si\ 
hundred and forty acres were voted also to each private, or his 
heir-, where in the fortunes of war he n«» longer lived to receive 
such bounty. The scale of acre- rose with each rank of the 
army, until the Brigadiers were to receive twelve thousand acres.§ 

'flint eminent jurist, Judge .lame- Iredell, who had BO ably 

discharged the duties of A.ttorney-( reneral since hi- appointment, 
in 177'.», had recently resigned that position, and Captain Alfred 
M v ..f Brunswick was elected to succeed him.j This extra- 

Wheeler, vol. If page 197. tPnMi. An-, vol. 1. pagi 308 

^Public Art-, vol. I. page 316. JPublic Acta, vol. II. pages 305 and 306 

||Life of In. Ml. vol. II. page 9. 


ordinary man who was to win the loftiest honors of his new 
profession, had then scarcely any acquaintance with the law- 
books.* He was the son of Judge Maurice Moore, and had joined 
the first North Carolina Continental Battalion a> a captain. Af- 
ter brave service in that corps, upon the deaths of Judge Moore 
and his brother, General Moore, he found it absolutely necessary 
for him to resign, when his brother, Captain Maurice Moore, and 
brother-in-law, General Nash, were both slain in battle. He 
came to Wilmington to look after the helpless families of all 
those deceased relatives. Though he had left the regular army, 
he did not abandon the use of arms in his country's defence. At 
the head of a troop of light-horse, he was a source of continual 
annoyance to Major Craig. When the latter evacuated Wilming- 
ton, Captain Moore was effectually ruined, and it is said that 
compassion for his forlorn condition and the traditional renown 
of his family for talent, led to his selection as Attorney-General. 

William Blount of Craven, with Abner Nash, late Governor 
of the State, was elected, as was also Hugh Williamson of 
Chowan, as the successors in the Continental Congress, of Samuel 
Johnston, Willie Jones and Whitmel Hill. Colonel Benjamin 
Hawkins was continued in his place there, but William Sharpe 
of Rowan retired to his home at Salisbury. 

The Articles of Confederation had become the supreme or- 
ganic law of the nation on the 1st of March of the previous 
year. Delaware and Maryland had at length acceded to the pro- 
posed terms of union, and the government, though loose and 
abortive in its nature, was at last established. This famous in- 
strument provided in its first section that the government should 
be known as the "United States of America." Each of the high 
contracting powers was to retain its sovereignty, freedom and 
independence, when not expressly delegated to the new govern- 
ment. A leatnie was formed for general amity and defence as 
against all foreign powers. The citizens of each State should lie 
entitled to the same privileges in others as were guarantied t<> 

*, vol. II, page 48. 


residents, and no duties should be laid upon them or their 
property carried into another State. Persons guilty of felony 
or high misdemeanors, and fleeing into other Commonwealths, 
should be surrendered upon the requisition of the Executive, 
demanding them. Records of any State should have the same 
force in others as at home. Delegates should be annually elected 
to Congress, to meet in November in every year, with the power 
i" recall such delegation at any time and the substitution of 
another. Bach State should have two and not to exceed Beven 
Congressmen. These should not serve more than three in any 
six years; nor should a delegate l»e capable of holding other 
Federal office. Each State should pay its own delegation in 
Congress, and in determining questions, each Stat<- should be 
entitled to but one vote. There should be freedom of debate 
and speech and no arrests of members in going or returning, save 
for criminal liabilities. No State, without consent of Congress, 
should send embassies or receive them, or make treaties or 
alliances ; nor should any person in Federal office receive gifts, 
pay, office or title from any foreign power or potentate. No two 
or more States should form anv league without consent of ("on- 

« ■ 

gress; nor lay imposts contrary to Federal treaties. No army 
should, in time of peace, be kept by any State without consent of 
Congress, nor should they engage in war. except in case of In- 
dian invasion. 

When force- for common defence should be raised, all officers, 
lower in grade than ( lolonel, should be appointed by the State -,, 
raising troops and such vacancies to be Idled by the same author- 
ity. All charges incurred in the common defence should be paid 
from the general treasury, to be supplied by the several State-. 
in proportion to the value of lands, levied bv their respective 
Assemblies The Dnited State- should make war and peace; 
receive ambassadors, make treaties, levy imports, regulate prizes, 
grant letter- of marque and reprisal, punish piracies on the high 
-en- and establish courts for such purposes. 

[n controversies between States, when the proper authorities 
of such con te-t; ant- -hoi i Id petition < longress. the other side should 


be notified and a day set for the hearing of the agents of the 
parties and Commissioners then appointed to determine the mat- 
ter. In case they failed of agreement, a committee of thirteen, 
obtained from the whole nation, and nine of such, or at leasl 
seven, determined by lot in presence of Congress. A majority 
of these should determine the question. In case either party 
failed to appear or take part in the proceeding, the Clerk of 
Congress should act for such party and the finding should be 
considered an act of Congress, and accordingly enforced. Con- 
gress should coin money, regulate Indian affairs, establish postal 
arrangements and regulations for the army and navy. 

Congress in its recess should leave the direction of affairs to a 
committee composed of one delegate from each of the States. 
One of them should be President of the body. No person could 
fill such office oftener than one year in any three. This Body 
should ascertain what sums of money should in such interim 
be necessary for the general service, and appropriate the same as 
needed. They should emit bills or borrow money on the gen- 
eral credit, and transmit semi-annually to the several Legislatures 
statements of such transactions. They should have charge of 
the navy, and agree upon the number of troops needed from 
each State and make requisitions for them. 

All acts of high sovereignty should require the consent of 
nine States. Congress should regulate the time and place of 
session and publish its proceedings, except in matters relating 
to treaties, alliances and military operations. Any delegate, upon 
demand, should cause the call and record of yeas and nays upon 
any question, and be furnished a transcript of such transaction. 
The Committee of States should have such powers as Coiign-- 
should vest in them, with the consent of nine States. ( lanada 
• should be admitted into the confederation upon pleasure, but no 
other community, but by the consent of nine States. All debts 
incurred by Congress before the adoption of the Articles of Con- 
federation should be considered a charge on the United States. 
Each State should abide the determinations of Congress; and 


amendments should not be effected l>ut by action of ( loneress and 
the unanimous consent of all the States. 

This was the substance of the new government agreed upon 
in the midst of the war of independence. That it was full of 
imperfections and was to lessen none of the burdens upon (Jen- 
oral Washington, was apparent to all, but time was needed for a 
more perfect system, and experience was yet t<> bring order and 
prosperity out of the chaos then seen in the American Union. 

Attorney-General Moore had a memorable introduction to his 
duties as proseeutor. At the April term of the Superior Court 
of Rowan county, there were three indictments to be tried for 
high treason. Samuel Bryan, late a Colonel of a regiment of 
North Carolina Loyalists, with John Hampton, Lieutenant-Col- 
onel, and Nicholas White, a Captain of the same troops, had 
grown desperate of the King's cause and, after the surrender of 
Cornwallis, had gone to their homes in the forks of Yadkin. 
They had been arrested and indicted, and on April 5th, 1782, a 
jury was empanelled and they put themselves on the country a- to 
their guilt in the highest crime known to the law." They were 
all men of position and fair character and were most ably de- 
fended. Judge Richard Henderson, who had been the associate 
of Martin Howard and Maurice Moore, in the times of Gov- 
ernors Tryon and Josiah Martin, was retained by them as lead- 
ing counsel. John Penn of Granville, late a member of Con- 
gress, also appeared, with William Kinchen of Orange. But 
even then the greatest advocate of them all was Colonel William 
R. Davie, who had won in that very region so much renown as 
a soldier and who, at Hanging Rock, with his troopers, had almost 
destroyed the regiment of Colonel Bryan. Judges John Wil- 
liams and Samuel Spencer tried the cause, Judge Samuel Ashe 
not being present at the term. They were indicted under the 

statute of 1 777, chapter III. They were charged in the bills 
with every species of high treason described in the act. The 

evidence fully disclosed the guilt of the prisoners as to overt acts 

I;, rolutionary History <>f North ( arolina, page 224. 

1782. THE BAR OF 1782. 349 

alleged. The counsel of the prisoners admitted the tacts of uni- 
form and active assistance to the royal cause, but averred that no 
allegiance had ever been acknowledged bv them to the State of 
North Carolina. They rested their ease upon that <>i' Reginald 
Tucker, as in point, concluding that where the State owed DO 
protection to the prisoner, nor the prisoner allegiance to the State, 
there could be no treason.* Davie and Moore had just come to 
the bar, but far eclipsed in their eloquence, anything that had yet 
been heard in our court-houses. Their manner as well as subject 
matter was inexpressibly moving. Perhaps no other man than 
the hero of Charlotte would have been listened to with patience 
in such a speech on the occasion. There was great excitement 
against the prisoners, and it became necessary for the Governor 
to protect them by an armed guard against the threatened violence 
of the populace. They were convicted and sentenced to death 
but were pardoned, at the direction of the Assembly, by Gov- 
ernor Alexander Martin, and subsequently exchanged for Ameri- 
can officers in the hands of the British. f 

The bar of North Carolina was yet led by Hooper, Madame, 
Xash, Johnston and Iredell. % John Hay of Fayetteville, Penn 
of Granville, with Moore, Sitgreaves, Stokes and Davie, consti- 
tuted a brilliant array. Thomas Barker, who had been leader 
thirty years before, yet lingered in second childhood at Edenton. 
John Haywood of Halifax was attracting attention to his great 
abilities and was petted by the once brilliant but now failing 
Hooper. § 

There were numerous convictions and executions of the 
wretches who had followed Fanning. At Hillsboro, seven were 
sentenced at the January term.|| At Wilmington, Middleton 
Moubly alone was to atone for the unnumbered atrocities of 
that region. Fanning was anxious to make terms for himself 
and followers, but the authorities would consent to no arrange- 

*Case for the Defence. 

Hiovernor Martin to Judge Iredell, June 24th, 17*2. 

fCftruthers', page 250. 

gLife of Iredell, vol. II, page 17. 

|| Wheeler, vol. 11, page 291. 

360 HISTOKY OF NORTH < UloI.IX \. 1782. 

i ik in with the bloody outlaw-. He then wrote the Governor that 
it' tlic men condemned at EEillsboro were executed In- would take 
terrible vengeance. II<' was as good as his word. On Sunday, 
March 10th, he murdered Andrew Balfour, a prominent citizen 
of Randolph, and then proceeded on his bloody work of killing 
and burning, until his victim- were numbered l>v scores It 
seems passing strange that such :i man could so defy the whole 
authorities of the State and for more than a year repeat atrocities 
which are simply sickening in their recital. Neither sex was 
safe from his infernal machinations. He could seduce respecta- 
ble women, and murder them when he tired of their society, and, 
months after almost every vestige of armed support of the King 
had disappeared, he was still at his work of death and destruc- 
tion. He lingered in North Carolina, safe, when the Tories were 
hanging other men who bad induced their deluded followers into 
BUpport of the failing cause of Britain,* and finally withdrew, 
unharmed, to South Carolina. From Charleston he went to 
Canada, and afterwards to St. Johns in New Brunswick, where 
he was convicted of rape upon a little girl ami barely escaped 
the gallows. With unnumbered murders on his soul and foul 
with the commission of every crime which usually leads to capital 
punishment, this monster survived to a venerable age and died 
on his bed.f 

There was general expectation that Charleston would be evac- 
uated and the whole British force in America concentrated at 
Xew York. Flag-boats, passing from New-Bern and Wilming- 
ton, were means of much speculation by sharp-witted parties in 
North Carolina, and slowly the great destitution of the previous 
year was being removed. A.- the year closed in, news arrived 
of the provisional articles signed at Paris, November 30th. 

King George had at last relented, and there was now no doubt 
that peace was to come at last to the land wasted by so many 
years of war. Dr. Franklin, John Adams and John day were 

General Washington i" La Fayette, January hh. 17>^. 
H druthers' Old North State, 

1783. TIDINGS OF PEACE. 35] 

arranging with David Hartley, as the British plenipotentiary, ;\ 
definitive treaty of peace and amity between the two nations, 
still bound by so many bands of blood, if not of good will. 

The new year of 1788 came upon the armies and people of 
America awaiting the results of negotiations in Europe. General 
La Fayette sent a ship, which brought the first news of the pre- 
liminary treaty to Philadelphia, on March 23rd,* and the cessa- 
tion of hostilities was proclaimed from General Washington's 
headquarters, April 19th. On the 23rd of the same month, 
General Greene was authorized to grant furloughs to the North 
Carolina troops. They were indignant at the want of supplies 
and the slow motions for their redress, but knowing the utter 
emptiness of both Continental and State treasuries, they left to 
happier times the proper acknowledgment and satisfaction of 
their great and magnanimous services.f They returned to their 
homes in small parties, without disturbance, and were true to the 
high hopes and fame awaiting the State as a peaceful and law- 
abiding community. 

The Legislature met at Hillsboro, on April 18th. William 
Hooper, so long in the public councils, was defeated this year. 
He had removed to Orange, and in his new home suffered by the 
incautious speeches of his friends. This eloquent and sagacious 
man was distanced by Colonel Thomas Farmer, as the member 
for Hillsboro. The blow must have been all the more annoying 
from the fact of his adversary's conduct at the battle of Eutaw 
Springs. The two brothers, Colonels Charles and Joseph Mc- 
Dowell, with Waightstill Avery, represented Burke. Joseph 
McDowell was to become as conspicuous in his usefulness while a 
civilian as he had been for bravery and good conduct in the field. 
General Gregory from Camden, William dimming from Chowan, 
Benjamin McCulloh and Colonel Geddy of Halifax, Benjamin 
Smith of Brunswick, and Alexander Mebane of Orange, were 
new members, and were to achieve at least respectability as legis- 

*Washington's Writings, vol. VIII, page 408. 
tLife of Iredell, vol. VI, page 54. 


latere. Governor Caswell again presided in the Senate, and 
Edward Starkeyof Onslow, in the Bouse. Mr. Starkey was the 
son of John Starkey, who lia<l been so conspicuous in the times 
of Governors Dobbe and Tryon. He much surpassed his father 
in parliamentary ability.* 

The firs! act was for emitting five hundred thousand dollars. 
This sum was necessary to meet the currenl expenses of the State 
government, for redemption of hills in circulation and for ad- 
vancing t<> the Continentals a portion of their pay and subsistence. 
Colonel Geddy of Halifax, and Captain James Gillespie of 
Duplin, were to superintend the printing, and John Hunt and 
Benjamin McCulloh were made Commissioners to sign and 
deliver the notes to the Treasurer. t Memucan Hunt, as Public 
Treasurer, was to receive the hills, which were legal tender for 
the payment of all debts.j 

The second act was for the establishment of a land office in 
the western territory belonging to North Carolina and forsaleof 
lands in the limits stretching from Cloud'.- Creek in the Virginia 
line to the Mississippi River and southward of such northern 
limits. This office was located at Hillsboro. Colonel Martin 
Armstrong, who had so greatly distinguished himself both at 
Camden and Kutaw, was made Surveyor.§ Anthony Bledsoe, 
Absalom Tatom and Colonel Isaac Shelby had been previously 
appointed Commissioners to lay off lands for the Continental 
officers and men, and were also allowed certain right- of entry in 
Davidson county, as a portion of their remuneration. This step 
was due the brave men who had participated so nobly in the war. 
but was to drain North Carolina of much of her best blood. As 
the land- were located it soon became customary for the men 
thus benefited to settle upon their possessions in Tennessee. Gov- 
ernor Martin and David Wih-on were granted two thousand acres, 
under the same bill. For the convenience of the returned Con- 
tinentals, Willie Jon< -. Benjamin M<( lulloh and Henry Montfort, 

Journals. ; Public V.cte, vol. I. page 320. 

(Life of Iredell, vol. 2, page 16. |Public \<-k vol. I. pagi 

1783. LEGISLATION. 353 

all of Halifax, were constituted a commission to settle there the 
soldiers' accounts, which had been previously done at New-Bern, 
by James Coor, John Hawks* and William Blount. f 

The next statute related to the depreciation of public funds 
and arranged a scale thereof. Acts of indemnity and another 
of amnesty and oblivion, were passed, in which David Fanning 
and two others were excepted by name. These were followed by 
others to suspend executions; to protect certain citizens in titles 
to slaves, who had acquired them from the Governor of Georgia 
for dragoon horses, to be used by troops of that State; to forbid 
judgment bonds; to amend the assessments on Quakers and other 
non-combatants; to empower County Courts to appoint solicitors 
to prosecute in the same ; in relation to the poor ; appointing a 
comptroller, and others of less moment.]; 

This was an extremely able and important Legislature. It 
met only once that year, but accomplished much good in the dis- 
ordered condition of affairs. The army in South Carolina 
merely observed the British at Charleston until the evacuation of 
that place. Th% only event there worthy of historic mention 
was the unfortunate death of the brave and accomplished Col- 
onel John Laurens, who had shared with Colonel Alexander 
Hamilton so largely the confidence and admiration of General 
Washington. The terms of the British treaty were already ex- 
citing comment and division. § The best of the lawyers and 
many of the most intelligent of the people were for fulfilling the 
stipulations as to the unhappy and mistaken men who had sided 
with the King. The heat of the conflict had been too great for 
wise counsels in that delicate matter. Too much blood and ruin 
had been witnessed as the consequences of the political sentiments 
of the refugee Tories, for the triumphant Whigs to listen to the 

*Note. — Mr. Hawks was the grandfather of Bishop Hawks. Dr. I". I. 
Hawks and the late John S. Hawks f Washington, North Carolina. 

tPublic- Acts, vol. I, page .°>12<'>. | Martin's Public An-. L787. 

$Life oi* Iredell, vol. I, yage 69. 


proposal of their return. In the wise and patriotic resolutions 
of Chowan, even Judge Iredell could not forbear the expression 
of a fixed determination that such men should no longer 
North ( !arolina. Thegreat political desideratum was the allow- 
ance by the State of a sufficient -fund for the support of the 
general government, and the means <>(' payment <>u the accrued 
interest of the war debt. General Washington, in his letter to 
(inventor Martin and the other chief-magistrates of the State-, 
delivered one of the wisest and most patriotic of valediction-. 
but it fell upon listless ears.t The helpless Congress, while em- 
powered to borrow money and contract debt, could not lew a 
dollar of revenue, [n their helplessness they were jeered and 
driven from Philadelphia by brutal mobs, until General Robert 
Howe, as the latest of his military feats, was sent by General 
Washington with five battalions to subdue this refractory spirit 
and protect the National Legislature.^ 

Governor Martin was again selected by the Legislature as the 
Governor of North Carolina for another year. It is singular that 
he should have counteracted and overcome the antipathy ot so 
many leaders of the Continentals, who disliked his course in the 
field. He was a man of ability and of great address. $ He was 
literary in his habits and became a Doctor of Laws by action ot 
Nassau Hall. He was more successful in State matters than in 
pursuit of the muses, but his early attention to matters of North 
Carolina history was valuable and is yet remembered. || 

Benjamin Hawkins, Abner Nash and Hugh Williamson were 
continued as members of the Continental Congress, but Richard 

gNoTE. — Governor Alexander Martin lived on Dan River in Rockingham 
county, after it> erection in 1785. He was a rich bachelor and much given to 
hospitality. Bis brothers were numerous. Colonel James Manin was able 

and prominent and lived near him. 

Life of Iredell, voL II. page 62. 
^Washington's Writings, voL VIII, page 139. 
(Washington's Writings, vol. VIII, page 168. 
|Wheeler, vol. II. page 182 


Dobbs Spaight of Craven succeeded William Blount of the same 
locality.* The latter was an able and popular man, but Spaight 
was one of the foremost men of that age. Three years before 
he had arrived in the State from his studies abroad, and was 
already a leading mind among so many able and experienced 
statesmen. Dr. Williamson of Edenton had been Medical Direc- 
tor on General Caswell's staff", at Camden, and was a man of varied 
learning. -He added a brilliant elocution to profound acquire- 
ments and was greatly respected in the National Legislature. t 

On the 14th day of January, 1784, the glad tidings of peace 
and independence which had for a year past been confidently 
expected, were authoritatively proclaimed by Thomas Miffin, 
President of the Continental Congress, and the United States 
assumed its position among the nations of the world. In the 
mercy of God the seven years of war were all gone by. A new 
people, baptized in their best blood, were about to commence the 
solution of many new problems in human government. Mankind, 
already attracted by the grandeur and unselfishness of Washing- 
ton, awaited further developments in his character, and acknowl- 
edged that in him, and those assisting him in laying the foun- 
dations of the new government, the dignity of the human race 
was magnified. That he and his co-adjutors could so completely 
forego ail the usual promptings of selfishness and vanity, was a 
spectacle as novel as inspiring. Great poets sang the praise- of 
the hero; philosophers applauded, and the dumb millions in Eu- 
rope in vain emulation slowly incubated the coming horrors of 
the French Revolution. 

As the certainty of peace and independence became fully es- 
tablished, the violence of feeling against the refugee Loyalists 
momentarily deepened. There were many who looked to the 
lawyers for establishing their right of return under the treaty. 
This had provided that they should lie unmolested, and good 
faith, if not humanity, should have drawn the veil of oblivion 
over the barbarities, so abundantly practiced on both sides. But 

*JoiirtKils of Congress. fWheeler, vol. II. page '.'1. 



in those sections of the State which had Buffered must by the in- 
curaiona of the Tories, there was an unbending determination 
that their old enemies should no more enjoy the privileges they 
had forfeited by their bloody opposition to the general will. The 
murder- and desolation wrought by Panning were not forgotten 

now that A meriea had made u 1 lur resolution to !><• free. They 

could not forgive the desolation of whole districts ravaged by 
men more merciless in some instances than their savage allies in 
the western wilderness. This feeling was not universal. When 
the soldiers came home in triumph from accomplished victory 
there were many instances of generous aim 1 noble forbearance in 
the victors. 

North ( larolina had drained the bitter cup of war to the very 
dregs. The scenes of horror through which they had passed were 
still present in the memories of many sufferers. The forgiveness 
of injury is the noblest, but most difficult of human virtue-. 
The refugee Tories, as they returned, frequently found bitter 
welcome. It was in vain that Judge Iredell and the legal men 
of the State appealed to the General Assembly to fulfill the requi- 
sitions of the Continental Congress in regard to the recent stip- 
ulation. It was in vain that the lawyers argued that national 
engagements in treaties were a portion of the law of the land. 
The gentlemen of the Bar only incurred popular odium, and the 
acts of confiscation were triumphantly passed. < >ur fathers were 

Nuii:. Hertford celebrated the return of her soldiers with Bongs and re- 
joicing. Colonel Hardy Murfree was honored with a grand ball at the house 
of Captain Lewis Meredith. He had fought through the war with conspicu- 
ous gallantry. In many portions of the State there was much bitterness mani- 
fested against nun lately in arms for the Kin-, but this feeling did not obtain 
foothold there. In the treaty of peace, America had agreed that our people 
slmiild not molest or vex l>y forfeitures the unhappy and mistaken Royal- 
ists. Captain .lames FVaser, who had led his Tory company through 
the war, returned to his old place on A.hoskie Ridge and resumed his mercan- 
tile business. There he lived and regained much of his popularity. His an- 
cient comrade and friend, Colonel John Hamilton, continued to \isii him for 
many years. His son, John Hamilton Fraser, became a favorite of our peo- 
ple and was often honored with the public confidence. Nothing could be more 
significant of the forgiveness and magnanimity of the Hertford people. 


but men and acted as resentment dictated. In this single matter 
of justice to fallen foes, they fell short of the highest claims of 
duty and magnanimity. In all other respects their conduct was 
admirable beyond all human precedent. They did not surrender 
the empire they had won to selfish uses of their leaders, but kept 
it inviolate as a sacred trust for the benefit of posterity and the 
world at large. 

Colonel John Hamilton returned to Halifax and not (tidy suc- 
cessfully resumed his mercantile operations, but his ancient 
friendship with the leading men of the new commonwealth. 
Willie Jones and others of that community, were, as of old, his 
intimate associates and the war and its incidents were discussed 
with a freedom that sometimes led to amusing incidents.* 

In the grave and important issues before the people of the 
State, there was, unfortunately, a struggle evolved between the 
lawyers and those who had filled important military commands 
in the army.f There were, as a general rule, strenuous efforts 
made against the return of the Tories and that popular preju- 
dice used as a lever to oust the influence of some who had largely 
directed public opinion during the war. They had formed the 
Society of the Cincinnati, and this body met in Philadelphia, in 
May. General Sumner presided at the State meeting at Hills- 
boro, April 13th, and appointed Colonel Archibald Lyttle, 
Major Reading Blount,| and Major Griffith J. McRee as delegates. 

"Note. — At a large dinner party, at which General Thomas Eaton was 
present, the conversation turned upon General Ashe's defeat at Brier ('nek. 
Hamilton told of Eaton's headlong retreat and produced his captured bc".i>. 
amid great merriment and the angry discomfiture of the hitter. 

JNote. — Major Reading Blount was the brother of William. John Gray, 
Willie and Thomas Blount. He lived in Edgecombe, where he was highly 

considered for public and private virtues, lie was in command of one of the 
North Carolina Continental Battalions in the bloody battle of Kutaw Springs, 
where he displayed the usual courage and -kill he had been previously mani- 
festing in the course of the war. Major McRee was likewise a most gallant 

Lite of Iredell, vol. II, page 81. 


This organization of the late officers was viewed by many with 

distrust as to its aim-. 

Kx-(iovenn>r I>urke died a few days before Christmas, and 
there was much regret at his untimely death. He was on bis 
way to attend EdentoD Court, whither he persisted in going, con- 
trary t" the advice of all his friends. !!<• was an able and ver- 
satile man, and was greatly missed in legal and social circle--. 
He was soured and made reckless by the unfortunate turn of his 
escape from Charleston, and was truly an object of pity, as 
broken in spirit, and weighed down by physical disorders, In- 
found release from BO many earthly ills. 

The election.- to the Legislature occurred in March, and in 
many instances were warmly contested. The great questions 
were the British treaty, altering the terms of the Confederation, 
assistance by a levy of five per cent, on foreign importations in 
favor of the Continental Congress, and a general feud between 
the lawyers and those of the late army officers, who had eui- 
braced the legal profession.* There were also animosities 
between the Bench and the Bar. John Hay of Sampson, and 
other-, were seeking to drive Judge Samuel Ashe from the high 
place he held, and his strong spirit met the issue with a courage 
that had been long traditional in the faraily.t There were 
numerous pamphlets and squibs issued from the press, in which 
personalities abounded.! Hay went to the length of preferring 
charges against .Indue Ashe, and demanding his impeachment, 
but he was most signally defeated, and His Honor triumphantly 
vindicated by the Assembly. John Hay was among the best of 

mid skilful soldier. His grandson, the late * Griffith John McRee of Wilming- 
ton, inherited hi- talents and social gifts, and deserves the Lasting gratitude of 
the State for his very valuable labors in the production of the life and corre- 
spondence of the lir-t James Iredell. 

'Life of Iredell, vol. II. page Bl. 
to in- Living and Our Dead, November, 1875, page 638. 
I [ooper i<> Iredell, March 16th, 1784; Eooper to Iredell, March I6tb, 178 I. 

1784. LEGISLATORS. 359 

the lawyers, but was even more irate than Archibald Maclaine, 
and was rarely without a quarrel upon his hands.* 

The Assembly met at Hillsboro, April 19th. General Cas- 
well in the Senate, and Thomas Benbury in the House, were the 
Speakers. The greatest men of the State, as a general thing, 
were in this Legislature. Samuel Johnston, William Hooper, 
A. Maclaine, William Blount, Nathaniel Macon, Charles John- 
son, William Lenoir, Thomas Person, Joseph Riddick ami 
Alexander Alebane had all won prominence by previous service. 
There was also an unusual array of brilliant men who were 
serving for the first time in the Assembly. 

The most conspicuous of these was Colonel William R. Davie, 
who that year served for Northampton, where he had recently 
married Sarah, the daughter of General Allen- Junes. Perhaps 
in splendor of diction and greatness of manner he has never been 
equaled in North Carolina. John Baptiste Ashe of Halifax, 
was also a man in everv way remarkable and worthy of his line- 
age. He had served with great credit as a Continental officer, 
through the war, and was second in command in General Sum- 
ner's brigade at Eutaw Springs. Colonel Ashe was the son of 
Judge Samuel Ashe and had married the sister of his colleagiu . 
Henry Montfort. John Hay of Sampson, too, was a new mem- 
ber, as was Stephen Cabarrus of Edenton. This generous, able 
and devoted man was French by birth and was to become a great 
and lasting favorite with all sections of the State. f 

The most important legislation was in acts tor vesting power 
in the United States to levy a duty on foreign merchandise; an- 
other levying a tax, and for investing the general government 

*Xote. — Mr. Hay, the next year,, removed from Sampson to Fayetteville. 
He married the daughter of Colonel Rowan, late President of His Majesty's 
Council for North Carolina. I lis daughter was the first wife of Judge Wil- 
liam Gaston. He was fond of literary employments, but, like Governor 

Alexander Martin, did not leave anything which the world was unwilling t" 
let die. 

t Journals and Life of Iredell. 


with power to collect bhe same and another for ceding the west- 
ern territory belonging to North Carolina to the United States. 
and empowering the State's delegates in Congress to execute a 
conveyance. In consequence of this most princely munificence, 
it was further enacted thai until Congress should accept the gifll 
tendered, the sovereignty and jurisdiction should remain un- 
altered. It was further ordained that Colonel John Armstrong, 
the State'- Surveyor-General, should suspend his sales and that 
no entries since May 24th, 1784, should he valid. The land 
office lor locating grants to Continentals should he removed to 
Nashville on the Cumberland River. The cession to the United 
States was not to interfere with these bounties to the soldiers, 
and they were further to receive from Henry Montfort, lien 
MeCulloh and John Macon, another installment of the sum- due 
them under the engagements of the Continental Congress. The 
grant of twenty-live thousand acres of the puhlie land to Gen- 
eral Nathaniel Greene having been located on the southern bank 
of Duck River, an act was passed and the Seal of the State or- 
dered to he affixed to the grant. 

A.s a further benefit to certain distinguished officers, late of 
the North Carolina Continental line, it was enacted by this Legis- 
lature thai the following Commissioners should proceed to sell 
the confiscated lands in their respective districts. In thedistricl 
of Morgan, John Walker was appointed; in that of Salisbury, 
Charles Bruce; in that of Hillshoro, Archibald Lvttle; in Hali- 
fax, Nicholas Long; Edenton, Hardy Murfree; New-Bern, James 
Armstrong, and for Wilmington, Griffith John McRee.* All 
of these were of approved gallantry during the war, and it was in- 
tended that the commissions on the sales of confiscations should 

Note.— Major <;. .1 McRee was Collector of Customs :u Wilmington after 
the war. His wife was Bliss Fergus. He lefl Beveralsons. <>nr was Colonel 
William McRee, United States \rmy; another was <;. John McRee, and 
Major Samuel McRee, Quartermaster-General of Scott, in Mexico. Dr. James 

Public Acts, v < . 1 . 1. page '■>' I. 

1784. THE PARIS TREATY. 361 

accrue to their benefit. There were some who grumbled heavily 
at their acts, but the hardship of their offices were due to the 
law and not to the brave men who executed it. :: 

The acts in relation to descents, wills, administrations and 
inspections were all of great importance, but were far less absorb- 
ing in interest than the proposition to concur with the recom- 
mendatory article of Congress. The eighth provision of the 
treaty of Paris was, that " Congress should earnestly recommend 
the several Legislatures " to provide for the restitution of all 
estates, rights and properties, which had been confiscated, belong- 
ing to real British subjects; and also of the estates, rights and 
properties of persons resident in districts in the possession of His 
Majesty's arms, and who have not borne arms against the United 
States; and that persons of any other description shall have fre< 
liberty to go to any part or parts of any of the thirteen United 
States, and therein to remain twelve months, unmolested in their 
endeavors to obtain the restitution of their estates, rights and 
properties, as may have been confiscated; and that Congress 
shall also earnestly recommend to the several States a reconsid- 
eration and revision of all acts or laws regarding the province-, 
so as to render the said laws or acts perfectly consistent, not only 
with justice and equity, but with that spirit of conciliation 
which, on the return of the blessings of peace, should universally 
prevail; and that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to 
the several States, that the estates, rights and properties of such 
last mentioned persons shall be restored to them, they refunding 
to any person who may be in possession, the bona Ji<l< price 
(where any has been given) which such person may have paid 
on purchasing any of the said lands, rights or properties since 

F. McBee married Mary Ashe Hill, daughter of W. II. Hill and granddaugh- 
ter of General Ashe. He was father of Dr. James !'. MeHee ami (iritliih .1. 
McRee, the author of Iredell's Life, and husband of Penelope Johnston [re- 
dell, daughter of Governor Iredell. 

*Maclaine to Iredell, vol. II, page 138. 


the confiscation. Ami it i- agreed, thai all persons who have 
any interest in confiscated land-, either by debts, marriage settle- 
ments or otherwise shall meel with no lawful impediment in the 
prosecution of their just rights." 

Ex-Governor Nash led in the opposition made to the propo- 
sition to accede to recommendations of ( !ongress. < reneral lluth- 
erford strenuously followed on the same side. II'- denied that 
( rovernors Tryon and Martin. II. E. Mc( nlloh or Sir Nathaniel 
Dukinfield were British subjects and covered by the treaty .f He 
denounced these men a< "imps of hell." Hooper, Willie Jones, 
Johnston, Cummings and Maclaine were all eloquent to no pur- 
pose. I I »< > 1 1 a division, there were ten men in the I [ouse of < lom- 
mons to follow in the lead of the able and influential magnates 


so long accustomed t<> control all parties in North Carolina. It 
may be that human selfishness and resentment are to triumph 
for all time over the high and unselfish love of right which 
refuses t<> punish individuals for the sins of whole nations and 
communities, but it will he at an age subsequent to our own. as 
was witnessed in the late war between the State-. There were 
doubtless many men in England who looked with sympathy 
upon America in her struggles. Just as there were those who 
preserved fealty to the Kinu even while living in peace with the 
Whigs of North Carolina.^ 

JNote. - A mill the general rejoicing of the Hertford people over the return 
of peace and the accomplishment of independence, Captain Fraser was not alone 
in his repining. Another and better man shared in liis grief al the overthrow 
of tin- royal can-.'. John Brown of Cuttawiskey Marsh, was not noisy in his 
politics, but still in his heart even t" the day of liis death, remained loyal t<> 
Kin- III. tie was in every way a remarkable man. Of gentle line- 

and considerable culture, lie had been for many years during the reign <>t' 
George [I., conspicuous as an officer of grenadiers, until disabled by honorable 
wounds, from future fterviee. Major John Brown, after the < 'ulloden campaign, 
was retired on hah' paj a- an officer of the British army. Became to America 
and sought s home among hi- kindred living near St. John's. He married 
Sarah, the eldest daughter •>! < krionel Matthias Brickell. When the Bevolu- 

linh Article of Treaty. Revised Statutes North Carolina, vol. II. pagi 
- Johnston to In dell, May let, L784. 


The General Assembly haying adjourned from Hillsboro, June 

2nd, was again convened at New-Bern, October 22nd. Gov- 
ernor Caswell was again chosen to preside in the Senate, but 
William Blount of Craven, late a member of Congress, suc- 
ceeded Mr. Benbury in the House of Commons, as Speaker. 
There was but little legislation at this short session. The lati 
act of cession of the western territory to the United Stale- was 
repealed, in consequence of the selfishness of Massachusetts and 
Connecticut, in obtaining for their own use large portions of the 
lands also ceded by Virginia and New York. Their conduct 
threatened to divert the bounty of the States which were the 
beneficiaries of the nation into that of certain communities, whose 
titles were at best but flimsy.* 

General Caswell, the Speaker of the Senate, was again chosen 
Governor of the State by a majority of thirty votes, on joint 
ballot, over ex-Governor Nash.f William Blount and John 
Sitgreaves of Craven, Timothy Bloodworth of New Hanover, 
Adlai Osborne of Rowan, and Charles Johnson of Chowan, were 
chosen as delegates to the Continental Congress. Colonel Leach, 
Jonathan Hawks, Martin Armstrong and James Kenan were 
elected Councillors of State. 

North Carolina's offer to make a free gift of her western lands 
not only proved abortive through the selfish cupidity of the Ne\, 

tion came his children had reached maturity. One of his daughters, Sarah, 
had married Godwin Cotton of Mulberry Grove, who was whole-hearted in 
his support of the patriot cause. This was a great grief to Major Brown. 
But a more cruel blow came in the defection of his son, John, lie left the 
paternal roof and volunteered in a Virginia corps. Under the immediate 
command of General La Fayette, he rose t<> distinction and became a 6eld <>lli- 
cer. His father never forgave him, and after the war he removed to » ieorgia. 
A sad figure was that of Major John Brown in the year of 17M. The gray- 
haired and disabled veteran was stern and unforgiving amid the pervading joy 
that surrounded him. In spite of his politics be was highly respected and 
utterly unmolested by those opposed to him in sentiment. Though lie was a 
high Churchman and Royalist, one of his nearest kinsmen was the follower oi 
George Fox, whose posterity are Quakers to this day. 

*Public Acts, vol. r, page 368. fLife of Iredell, vol. II, page 113. 



England States but resulted in trouble and misfortune t < > the 
people inhabiting the territory intended to beconveyed. Disre- 
garding the repeal <>f the acl of cession, they mel in Jonesboro, 
December 14th, 1784. In this convention, composed of five 
delegates from cadi of the counties of Davidson, Greene, Wash- 
ington, Hawkins and Sullivan, John Sevier, who bad been one 
of the heroes of King's Mountain, was made President, and they 
formed a Constitution. They called the new commonwealth 
"Frank land "and left their work to be rejected or ratified by another 
body fresh from the people. This new convention met al Green- 
ville, in November of the following year, where the action of 
the first was affirmed. Colonel Sevier was chosen Governor; 
David Campbell, Joshua Gist and John Henderson Judges <>f 
the Superior Courts; Langdon Carter, Speaker of the Senate, and 
William Cage, Speaker of the House of Commons. Other offi- 
cers, civil and military, were also appointed.* 

Colonel John Sevier, who was head and front of this whole 
movement, was brave but not a wise man. He and his party 
knew of the violent course of the men of Vermont, who, by 
effrontery and undisguised overtures to the British enemies, had 
procured the Continental Congress to side with them and had 
thus triumphed over the State- of New York and New Samp- 
shire. At the Jonesboro convention he had read to that a 
letter from Joseph Martin, who had just returned from his -eat 
in the North Carolina Legislature, which informed them that the 
General Assembly had granted them a Superior Court, enrolled 
their militia and appointed him a Brigadier-( reneral. 1 Ee warned 
them to desist from their revolutionary proceedings, as all their 
former grievances were redressed. \ The expectant Governor of 
the new community would listen to no such advice, ami he pro- 
ceeded to arouse the people to perseverance in what thej had 


North Carolina was then ruled by a state-man and soldier of 
consummate ability and experience both in council and the field. 

Wheeler, vol. 1. page '.<::. 


He was ever aligned with the foremost men of America in the 
most advanced views as to human liberty. But he saw in thi< 
movement, a repetition of a dangerous and ruinous precedent for 
the peace of the States. Vermont had already set the example 
of a mob triumphing over a sovereign and organized State. He 
resolved that constitutional law and order should be upheld. ( )n 
the 14th of April, 1785, he issued a proclamation against ''this 
lawless thirst for power." In a paper of great force and clear- 
ness, he stated that the deed of cession had been repealed, and that 
such repeal had been voted for by the men then engaged in revolt 
against the lawful authority of North Carolina ; that the State 
had ever manifested a tender regard for the peace and interests 
of the western people. He denounced the whole movement as 
an inexcusable usurpation, in which the general government 
could receive no benefit, and could only result in the loss of reve- 
nue to North Carolina, and defiance to lawful authority. He 
warned the people against obedience to the revolutionists. He 
informed them that the State Legislature would soon be in ses- 
sion, before which the unlawful acts would be laid, and if they 
desired separation the terms could then be lawfully arranged. 
In case this advice was disregarded, he warned them that "the 
spirit of North Carolina was not so damped or her resources so ex- 
hausted but the means, even to blood, would be used to reclaim 
her refractory citizens, and preserve her dignity and honor."* 

Governor Caswell's proclamation was disregarded, and ( 'olonel 
Sevier and his party persevered in their course, while Colonel 
John Tipton headed the men who were for heeding the mandates 
of lawful authority. Courts were held by both parties. Officers 
were multiplied by the revolutionists to make restoration of the 
old order impossible.! Tipton dispersed Sevier's court in ( rreene, 
and soon after these two champions of opposite factions had a 
personal rencontre at Greenville.^ 

-^Governor Caswell's Proclamation, ITS."). tHaywood'e Tennessee, page L50. 
JWheeler, vol. I, page 95. 


The General Assembly met in New-Bern, November I9tb, 
ITS.".. and selected ex-Governor Alexander Martin asSpeakerof 
theSenate an. I Richard DobbsSpaighl forthe Chair of the II misc.* 
Samuel Johnston was succeeded by Dr. Williamson, and Charles 
Johnson bj Michael Payne, as members from Chowan. Robert 
Montgomery of Hertford, who was to continue for a whole gen- 
i ration as a member, was serving for the first time, as was wise 
and quiel Jesse Franklin of Wilkes. An act of amnesty was 
passed as to the recent western disturbances and the people of 
Washington, Sullivan and Greene counties, which seem to have 
been those principally engaged in the movements, were assured 
that the State by no means disregarded their welfare, but was 
willing to afford them protection until such time as they, from 
wealth and numbers, should be in fit condition for separate gov- 

Josiah Collins, William Littlejohn and Joseph Blount of 
Edenton, John Wright Stanly of New-Bern and Spers Single- 
ton of Beaufort, were made ( !om mission ers of ( lommerce for their 
port.- of entry, with powers to order surveys and erect beacons 
and to direct enough of the public imports to pay the expense 
thus incurred. The Commissioners were ordered to pay the re- 
mainder of the amounts due the Continental.-, ami western men 
were added for convenience of those living remote from Halifax, 
where the old Board <»f Audit held it- sessions. The new 
Commissioners wen; David Vance, Edward Hunter and Russell 
Jones, and were to sit at Morganton in Burke. f Governor Nash, 
William dimming of Chowan, and William Mount of Craven, 
were added to the old Congressional delegation. Mr. Cumming 
was a lawyer of BOme position, but was chiefly noted for the 
splendor of his attire.J 

Each day was showing more clearly the incompleteness and 
crudity of the Articles of Confederation. The general govern- 
ment could borrow money and create debt, but could not levy a 

►Public Acts, vol. I, page 406. fPublic A. its, yol. I. pages 394—398. 
JLife of Iredell, vol. II. page 209. 


dollar except through the agency of the individual State- to meel 
such liabilities. In the assessment on the several States for gen- 
eral burdens the only criterion for the different proportions was 
the relative value of real estate. There was now a proposition 
to change this article by substituting population for the test of 
real property; the white people and free blacks to be counted 
according to number, but slaves only as three-fifths of the whole. 
This was to be a lasting idea in the general polity of the nation, 
and the rule, though arbitrary and without substantial reason tor 
its adoption, was to be a compromise of opposing interests until, 
in accumulated wrath and contention, it disappeared in the wreck 
of 1861.* 

*Public Acts, vol. II, page M-i. 



A . I>. 17 86 TO L78 9 . 

Jealousies among the Slates Results <>f American confiscation I >i ^ i r < i^ t of 
the Cincinnati— The Annapolis Convention -Assembly meets al Fayette- 
ville — James * "<>r and J. B. Ashe Speakers Military force for Tenness< e 
Delegates to Philadelphia National Convention— Death of General Robert 
Howe Members of Congress Leaders in the Legislature -Governor Cas- 
well and tin- political status — The Federal Constitution — Tin- fraud trialsal 
Warrenton — Wilmington duel — Judge Ashe denies the omnipotence of the 
Assembly and declares an act unconstitutional — Increase of party feeling 
Judge Iredell and others in the Uillsboro Convention to consider the Con- 
stitution— Its defeat — Samuel Johnston becomes Governor— Assembly calls 
another Convention, which body should till tin- seat of future State govern- 
ment- Legislature meets al Fayetteville, as also the Convention Governor 
Johnston again presides in tin- latter — Ratification — Johnston and Haw- 
kins, United States Senators— Deat li of General Caswell -Mussentine 
Mathews— Legislation — Cession of the western territory Establishment of 
the University of North Carolina. 

Four years had nearly rone l>\ since the cessation of active 

■ * • 

hostilities in America, when the year 1786 came to North. Caro- 
linti. Much had been accomplished in the removal of British 
restraints from the limbs of the young giant of the wilderness, 
but with the loss of foreign control came abundant sources of 
jealousy and contention among the States composing the new 
confederation. Because North Carolina and others had disre- 
garded the wishes ami recommendations of Congress a- to the 
fulfillment of the fourth article of the treaty, Lord Carmarthen 
quoted that fact as a justification of Great Britain in her refusal 
to execute the seventh provision, which was for the surrender of 
Detroit and other military posts on the frontier.* This was bul 
a sample of the dangerous embarrassments produced in foreign 

relation-, and at home things were in no better plight. The 
General Washington t<> W. Grayson, July 26, 1786. 


Federal distresses were incessant and increasing:. In February. 
New Jersey flatly refused to grant a shilling of the requisition 
made by Congress until New York should accede to the pro- 
posed impost.* To the wise and good men of that day the future 
was full of painful uncertainty. The grand opportunities 
of America seemed to he fading from the possibility of 
achievement by reason of divided councils, ignoble jealousies 
and insane selfishness of the individual States. Suspicion and 
detraction poisoned the public mind with unceasing calumnies. 
The order of the Cincinnati was at best only a social brother- 
hood, but was denounced as a conspiracy against the people's lib- 
erties, and the very authors of American liberty were held up to 
scorn as conspirators against the best interests of the nation. t 
The "Patriotic Society" was a rival organization which sprung 
up in that day and became in effect greatly similar to the move- 
ment under Governor Tryon, known as the Regulation. J In 
North Carolina but little interest was taken in either of these 
organizations, which were soon to sink from public observation. § 
These divisions and contentions led to the Convention of ITS.",, 
between the States of Virginia and Maryland, which met at 
Annapolis for the arrangement of matters peculiar to those States. 
A resolution of that body produced a delegation of five State- 
at the same place on September 11th, 1786. This body, contain- 
ing General Washington among its delegates, had accomplished 
nothing toward perfecting the union of the States, from the fact 
that the General Congress had not signified any approval of its 
objects and the States represented were too few in number. They 
agreed before adjourning to recommend ;i general convention of 
all the States. This measure was approved by Congress, and 
thus at last, the provisions of the Articles of Confederation were 
fulfilled as to any change to be effected in them.! 

"Journals of Congress, February, 1786. 

fLife of Iredell, vol. II, page 81 ; Washington's Writings, vol. IX. page 28 

JGeneral Washington t<> Bush rod Washington, September 30th, 1786 

gGeneral Washington to General Knox, Februarv 20th, 1786. 

|| Holmes, page 165. 


The General Assembly mel at Fayetteville on the 18th of 
November, and organized by the selection of James ( !oor of ( 'ra- 
ven as Speaker of the Senate, and John Baptiste Asheof Halifax 
to the Chair of the House. Mr. Coor had been for many pears 
prominent in the Councils of the State. He was a man of large 
wealth and consummate prudence iii financial operations. He 
was not versatile or brilliant as an orator, like Colonel Ashe, but 
was among the most trusted public men of his day. Governor 
Caswell, in his message, had called attention to the condition of 
affairs in the extreme western settlement-, and an act was at once 
passed for the protection of the people of Davidson couuty, 
Three companies were ordered to be raised and equipped, at the 
State'- expense, but to be subsisted by the people, in whose de- 
fence they were organized. f This battalion, it was asserted in 

the body of the act, was for the protection of Davidson county 
against the incursions of the Indians, but it is more than prob- 
able that substantial aid was thereby intended to Colonel John 
Tipton in his efforts to uphold the authority of North Carolina 

against the revolutionary proceedings of Col I Sevier and hi> 

co-adjutors. An act of amnesty and oblivion was also passed 
at this session, for the benefit of the same misguided spirit.-, who 
yet disregarded Governor Caswell's warnings and the offered 
mercy of North ( larolina. 

The only other act of this Assembly of much historic import, 
was for the appointment of delegate- from the State to the con- 
vention proposed to be held in Philadelphia in May, of the fol- 
lowing year.J The preamble stated that 

N'TK.— It seems that up to about this time it bad not been entirely nettled 
in North Carolina as to how the Governor should communicate with the A-- 
s. Governor Martin, in 1784, proposed to makes Bpeechto them upon 
their organization, but this was declined and a written message was requested 
as what they desired.g 

fPublic Acts, vol. I. page In:. JPublic Acts, vol. 1. page 112. 
J8. Johnston to [redell, April, 178 1. 

1786. DELEGATES. 371 

Whereas, In the formation of the Federal compact which frames the bond 
of union of the American States, it was not possible in the infant State of our 
republics, to devise a system which in the course of time and experience would 
not manifest imperfections that i( would be necessary to reform; and 

Whereas, The limited powers which, by the Articles of ( unfederation, are 
vested in the ( Jongress of the United States, have heen found far inadequate t" 
the enlarged purposes which they were intended ti> produce ; and 

Whereas, Congress, both by repeated and most urgent representations, en- 
deavored to awaken this and other States of the Union, to a sense of the truly 
critical and alarming situation into which they must unavoidably be cast, un- 
less measures are forthwith taken to enlarge the powers of Congress, that they 
may thereby be enabled to avert the dangers which threaten our existence as 
a free and independent people ; and 

Whereas, This State hath ever been desirous to act upon the enlarged sys- 
tem of the general good of the United States, without bounding its views to 
the narrow and selfish object of partial convenience, and has been at all time- 
ready to make every concession to the safety and happiness of the whole, 
which justice and sound policy could vindicate.* 

Five delegates were chosen bv joint ballot of the two Houses 
to represent North Carolina at Philadelphia. These were Gov- 
ernor Caswell, Colonel Davie, ex-Governor Martin, Willie Jones 
and Richard Dobbs Spaight. By terms of the bill any vacancy 
could be supplied by the appointment of Governor Caswell, and 
in this way William Blount was appointed in place of Hi> Ex- 
cellency, the then illustrious Chief-Magistrate of North Carolina, 
and Dr. Hugh Williamson was likewise substituted in place of 
Willie Jones, who was also unwilling- to serve. f Mr. Jones was 
ever averse to any political position save that of Representative 
in the State Legislature. He was Irresistible there, us a party 
leader, on every political topic but the fulfillment of the late 
British treaty. 

The Legislature adjourned on January 6th. General Robert 
Howe was elected from Brunswick t<> the House of Commons, 
and set out for Favetteville, but sickened on the way and 
died at the house of General Thomas Clark of New Banover, 

*Publie Acts, vol. 1. page AVI. 

fLifeof Iredell, vol. II, page 151; Wheeler, v.. I. 11. page 111. 



who was father of Mrs. William Hooper and of ( 'olonel Thoina- 
Clark of die First Regimen* of the North Carolina Continental 
line* Genera] Howe had served with great distinction under 
the immediate command of ( leneral Washington, and was among 
ihc very last of the general officers mustered out of the public 
service upon the gradual disbanding of the army.f Though so 
prominent before the war, and in the Assembly of the State, lie had 
lived in great retirement at ( >rton, on the Cape Fear, until 17s."). 
when he again resumed his ancient place in the Legislature. He 
had gained higher rank than any officer from hi- native State, 
and died on the very threshold of the accrued greatness of 
America, for which he had so long and fearlessly battled. He 
was a hold and strenuous opponent to Governors Tryon and 
Martin in the old colonial regime^ and was as unfaltering in the 
seven years of war. His son sold the noble estate' which Lord 
Cornwallis had ravaged in 177(J, and his name soon disappeared 
from among the denizens of Cape Fear.J 

Timothy Bloodworth, William Blount, Benjamin Hawkins, 
and Alexander White, $ were elected members of the ( lontinental 

*Xote. — Colonel Clark married the widow of General Francis Nash, who 

was thedaughterof Judge Maurice M •<■. Hehad Berved, with high applause 

in tin' war, and was a Brigadier-General afterwards in the United States 

\ 1'IIIV. 

(Note. — I am informed by Colonel George Wortham of Oxford, that he 
learned from a most responsible source in the neighborhood of Orton, thai 
Genera] Howe found his son upon bis return from the army, a confirmed and 
habitual drunkard, and bis daughter in a still more degraded stale. He had 
been reared in the most courtly London circles, and was the kinsman of Sir 
William Howe, the Generalissimo of the British army in America. lie bad 
married a coarse woman, and upon her death, during his absence at the North 
in tie discharge of his military duties, his children, just reaching maturity, 
had thus gone astray. It was enough to break his heart, and we can well 
understand how the proud master of Orton could exclude himself from the 

public L r a/e and die of shame, when at last called again by public duty to face 
the pitying eyes of ancient friends. 

{Note. — The period of time between the close of the Revolution and the 
formation <>f the United States Constitution i- very obscure, so far a- the 

■(•Washington's Writings, vol. VIII. 

1786. LEGISLATORS. 373 

Congress of that year. William Hooper and Archibald Mac- 
laine were serving as legislators for the last time. After long 
and illustrious service, their names were uo more to be found on 
the pages of the journals. They were still leaders of the Bar, 
hut were averse to further political service. Colonel Davie, as a 
member for Halifax, was assuming a controlling influence in 
much of the legislation of the period.* He and Attorney-Gen- 
eral Alfred Moore, were in every portion of the State, already 
famous as advocates, and were alike brilliant and successful in 
their forensic eiforts. Many wise and useful men were members 
of this Legislature, and among those not yet mentioned in this nar- 
rative, were Samuel Sawyer of Camden, John Gray Blount of 
Beaufort, John Sitgreaves of Craven, John Stokes of Montgom- 
ery, Zedekiah Stone of Bertie, Edward Everigen of Pasquotank, 
Frederick Hargett of Jones, Colonel James Martin and Jesse 
Franklin of Surry.f Colonel Martin was brother to Governor 
Alexander Martin, and had given brave and effective service in 
the war, as was the case with Captain Stokes, the rising ami 
highly respected lawyer, who was soon to become the recipient 
of Federal judicial honors.^ Colonel John Martin, who lived 
in Surry, was also a prominent man in the West at that day. 
He had done good service in the war, and was indefatigable in 
the discharge of his public duties. He was from Virginia, 
originally, and was not related to Governor Martin, who was of 
Irish extraction. § 

annals of North Carolina are concerned. This will appear when it is stated 
that nothing is remembered of Alexander White, save his name and the fan 
that he was a member of Congress. 

JNote.— John Stokes was the brother of Governor Montford Stokes. 
He married the daughter of Colonel Richmond Pearson of Davie, grandfath. i 
of the late Chief Justice of North Carolina. Captain Stokes was a brave 
soldier, very capable as a jurist, and was shorn of the greatest usefulness by a 
premature death. 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 202. fjournal of the Legislature. 

§ Wheeler, vol. II, page 405. 


Governor ( laswell was of course re-elected as < Ihief-Magistrate 
of the State. No man was ever more trusted and honored by a 
people than was tin- extraordinary man. throughout the entire 
period <>f bis manhood. He had won the highest colonial 
honors and was, beyond all comparison, the foremost man in 
public confidence until Ins lamented death. The elections before 
the people and Assembly at this period bath betokened a large 
compromise of the former bitterness exhibited in the treatment 
of Samuel Johnston and the advocates of aristocratic feature- in 
the State government. Governor Martin and R. l>. Spaight 
were both recognized as of that faith, and vet were sent to 
Philadelphia to help in the great work of remodeling the Articles 
of ( Jonfederation.* 

The year L787 came in with greatly added joy to the real 
patriots of America. There was a general conviction as to the 
futility of the Articles of Confederation, and all looked with 
hope to the Convention which was to assemble at Philadelphia. 
There were many crude theories as to the nature of the govern- 
ment to be created. A wide divergence of view- separated the 
men who were to follow dame- Madi-on from those who shared 
the convictions of Alexander Hamilton. In this every conflict 
..f opinion was a great and concealed blessing to America. 
Thomas Jefferson, though absent as Minister to France, had 
fully communicated hi.- advanced theories to his Virginia co-ad- 
jutor, and it is certain that but for Hamilton and the men of' his 
party a democracy would have been established which would 
3oon have required radical changes to meet the imperial necessi- 
ties of a great nation. ( hi the other hand, had the opposite part) 
succeeded in their wishes, the American polity would be \ et an 
untried theory, and man's capacity for self-government -till a 
thing of the future. Jetfersoii, in the person of James Madi-on. 
would have committed all power to the people and yet retained 

such reservations of right to the individual States as to render 
abortive the very system they were seeking to amend. Hamil- 

• I. it'i- ..)' [redell, vol. 1 1, page 151. 

1787. BKN.J.VMIN MctVLLOH. 375 

ton and the Federalists sought to engraft British exclusiveness 
and cheeks upon the masses he feared and distrusted. Out of 
these cross-purposes and conflicting creeds, the wondroits fabri< 

of American civilization was to have its birth. From beginning 
to end, the Constitution of the United States was to be the result 
of compromise and mutual concession.* 

The State of North Carolina had been strongly excited for 
several months past over alleged frauds by the military commis- 
sioners, who were entrusted with settling the State's indebtedness 
to her soldiers. It had been provided in the last session of the 
Legislature that a Court of Oyer and Terminer should be held 
at Warrenton to investigate these charges. t The statute of 1785 
had provided that Henry Montfort, John Macon and Benjamin 
McCulloh, should have power to ascertain and pay over to the 
late Continental troops of North Carolina the amount due them 
for past services, which the United States owed and had failed to 
pay through helpless poverty. No charges were ever made against 
John Macon, but early in the year Montfort and McCulloh were 
indicted and put upon their trial. ;[ These men were of great 
social prominence and of large fortune. They were prosecuted 
by Attorney-General Alfred Moore and defended by .Judge Ire- 
dell and Colonel Davie. Montfort was acquitted, but McCul- 
loh was convicted, fined twenty thousand dollars and sentenced 
to twelve month's imprisonment in Halifax jail. Three other 
men of less note were at the term convicted of presenting false 
accounts. Governor Caswell was deaf to all appeals for mercy, 
and McCulloh, whose counsel and friends insisted upon his inno- 
cence, was left in the noisome dungeon. 

On the 11th of July, a duel occurred at Wilmington, which 
resulted in the death of Samuel Swann at the hands of John 

JHenry Montfort was brother-in-law to Willie Jones and John B. Ash. . 
McCulloh was son of Alexander McCulloh, one of the old Colonial Council 
and brother-in-law of John Stokes. He was also grandfather of the late Ben- 
jamin McCulloh of Texas, who was killed during the war between the State-. 

^Federalist. fPublic Acts, vol. II. page 409. 


Bradley. An English officer had been wrecked at sea, and in 
great destitution, was taken to the house of Swann. While en- 
joying the hospitality of thi> rich and generous man, he happened 
to visit the store of Bradley, who was a merchant Some gold' 
finger rings were missed from the counter, and Bradley charged 
the Englishman with the felonious appropriation of the property. 
Swann resented the charge on his guest and challenged hisaocu- , 
ser. They were both injured and Swann fell dead with a bullet 
in his brain. Several generations of his ancestors had been lead- 
ing men in provincial clays and there was general regret at the 
unfortunate result of his romantic stretch of North Carolina 

The omnipotence of the British Parliament had been long as- 
serted as contradistinguished with any power of the courts of law 
to limit its operation. Since the formation of the Halifax Con- 
stitution in 1776, there had been a large party, backed by many 
of the lawyers who asserted the judges could not invalidate any 
statute passed by the General Assembly, however plainly it might 
contravene the organic law of the State. This matter was to be 
tested in the case of Bayard and wife vs. Singleton. f The act 
of 1785 attempted to take from all persons the right of action to 
recover confiscated property. This was declared unconstitutional 
and invalid. Judge Ashe remarking: "As God said bo the 
water.-, 'So far shall ye go, and no farther,' so said the people to 
the Legislature." Judge John Haywood, years afterward, in 
alluding to this decision, remarked: "Judge Ashe deserves for 
this the veneration of posterity.". The same doctrine was au- 
thoritatively settled in subsequent years by Chief-Justice Mar- 
shall in the celebrated cause of Marbury W». Madison. § 

The drift of public opinion in North Carolina, as elsewhere 

in America. wa8 yet chaotic and often destructive of all good 
government. The dream of human perfection in their own 
vicinage was generally accompanied with great distrust of the 

Life of [redell, vol. II. page L65. fMartin'a Reports, vol. I. page VI. 
;II:iv« I's North ( larolina Reports. {First Cranch's Report, 1808, 


motives and practices of other Commonwealths. Many men of 
North Carolina were opposed to arming the other States with any 
supervision of affairs which they supposed could be directed by the 

General Assembly at home. The selfishness of Rhode Island 
in forcing the citizens of Connecticut and other States to receive 
payment in her depreciated currency, which was at the same 
time no legal tender for her own people, instead of being an 
argument for erecting a general system to enforce proper com- 
mercial regulations on all the States, was pleaded as an excuse 
for no closer connections with such men. The old party divis- 
ions which had been formed in 1776, upon the creation of the 
State Constitution, and which had not at any time entirely disap- 
peared, returned with increased virulence in the August elec- 
tions.* The people were harangued on the subjects of liberty 
and aristocracy and great excitement pervaded the State. Those 
favoring the increase of the powers granted the general govern- 
ment became known as Federalists, while their opponents were 
called Republicans. It became known that the Philadelphia 
Convention had agreed upon a Constitution and that it would 
be soon submitted to North Carolina for ratification. f 

Of all men in North Carolina, Judge James Iredell was the 
most learned and indefatigable in his advocacy of the new gov- 
ernment. Samuel Johnston, Colonel Davie, Governor Martin, 
William Hooper, A. Maclaine, General Allen Jones and R. I>. 
Spaight were leaders on the same side, while Willie Jones, 
Timothy Bloodworth, General Person and Colonel Joseph Mc- 
Dowell at once manifested opposition to an early and uncondi- 
tional ratification.^ The legislature met at Fayetteville on 
November 19th. There were many who favored this town as 
the permanent capital of North Carolina. New-Bern, Tarboro 
and Hillsboro were rivals, and through their friends were t<' 

*Life of Iredell, vol. II, page 160. 

fGeneral Washington to General Knox, October 15th, 1787. 

JLife of Iredell, vol. 51, pages 2:52 and 233. 


keep the seal of government nomadic for years to conic.* Ex- 
Governor Alexander Martin was chosen as Speaker of the Sen- 
ate, and John Sitgreavea of New-Bern, Speaker of the 1 [ouse of 
Commons.t Mr. Sitgreaves had been a soldier in 1776, and 
like \\. I >. Spaight, was on General Caswell's staff at the battle 
of Camden. He had served a> a delegate in Congress, and was 
one <»t' the ablest of the young lawyers who had come to the Bar 
since the close of the war. There were several new members of 
this Assembly who became prominent in the State. Major 
Joseph Winston of Surry, had gallantly led his men in the 
memorable conflict at King's .Mountain. With Waightstill 
A very and Robert Lanier, in .Tidy. 1777. he had helped in 
obtaining the treaty of the Long Island of Holstou, when lasting 
peace was made with the Cherokee Indian.-. He was a man of 
the utmost probity and was ever trusted and honored by the 
people. He was remarkable for his fine presence, but did not 
possess unusual mental endowments. J William Barry Grove 
of Cumberland, was a young lawyer of great promise. He was 
vivacious, prompt and intensely devoted to the adoption of the 
new Constitution of the United States. He and John Hay had 
recently married the daughters of Colonel Rowan, and both were 
residents of Fayetteville; Colonel Nathan Bryan of Jones, was 
a remarkable man. Like his kinsmen of Craven he had been 
devoted to the American cause, and had made that portion of 
North Carolina a refuge from the fury of the Tories. Colonel 
Bryan was of noble and striking appearance. His habitual 
gravity could relax into gentlest courtesy.and in his devotion to 
God he rivalled those ancient Christians who so eager!} -ought 
the crown of martyrdom. He was rich in worldly goods, and 
possessed of considerable talents.§ With Elisha Battle of 
Edgecombe, and ( 'oh 1 Nathan Mayo of Pitt, he was a leader 

Mudge Gaston, in Debates in Convention, 1836, page 137. 

Public Acts, vol. I, page 1 Hi. 
• Wheeler, vol. II. page W4. 

Burkitt'e History of Kehukee Association, vol. I. page 155. 


among the Baptists, and often presided as Moderator in their 
religious assemblies. Thomas Wynns of Hertford was another 
man of mark in this Legislature. He was the youngest <>f four 
brothers, all of whom were men of wealth and distinction in tin 
Revolutionary and colonial times. General Wynns had been 
captured at sea and was carried to London in 1781.* He was to 
remain for many years in conspicuous public stations and was a 
wise, honorable and reproachless man. 

Governor Caswell again became constitutionally ineligible for 
re-election, and was succeeded as Chief-Magistrate of North 
Carolina by Samuel Johnston of Chowan. For many years the 
serene wisdom and integrity of this distinguished man had been 
known and appreciated in every portion of the State. His high 
conservative and aristocratic views had made him unpopular at 
times, but no one ever distrusted his honor or judgment. As an 
orator he was crippled by hesitancy in his speech, but at times he 
could be highly persuasive, and was ever luminous, learned and 
exhaustive in his discourse. No statesman in America bore a 
more spotless reputation, and no man was more straight-forward 
and sincere in all his words and deeds. He did not possess the 
versatility and genius of Caswell, but he was a profound lawyer 
and a long trusted leader of the most intelligent portion of 
the North Carolina people. He possessed great wealth and a 
pedigree that reached back through ages of titled ancestors in Scot- 
laud. He had over-lived the prejudice against him, and the State 
was again lavishing, as of yore, her honors thickly upon him. 
Colonel John B. Ashe of Halifax, Colonel Robert Burton of 
Granville, John Swann of Pasquotank and Dr. Hugh William- 
son of Chowan, were elected as delegates to Congress. t ( lolonel 
Burton married the daughter of Judge John Williams and had 
served in the recent war.J He was a planter by profession and 
yet survives in an honored posterity. 

JXotk.— John Swann was the son of Samuel Swann. who was likewise a 
citizen of ancient Albemarle. He was descended from the -am.- family for- 

■\. Black to Judge Iredell, July 20th, L781. fWheeler, vol. II. page 163. 



The most important action of this Legislature was the act 
calling a Stale ( '(invention to deliberate upon the < Constitution ol 
the United States, recently adopted by the delegates sent to Phila- 
delphia, Another act provided for certain men, who. though 
citizens of North Carolina, had enlisted under General Thomas 
Sumter of South Carolina, and had been paid in negroes under 
an agreement with Governor Rutledge to thai effect. The Tory 
owners of such slaves were bringing suits in North Carolina 
courts for the recovery of their servants, and this statute was in bar 
of recovery. Others restrained gaming; trading with slaves; 
for revising and correcting the statutes, by Judge Iredell; record- 
ing deeds, and for the addition of a Judge for the District of 
Morgan. Governor Johnston, Whitmel Hill, John Skinner, 
Josiah Collins, Dempsey ( 'on nor, ( lolonel Hardy Murfree,( Jharles 
Johnson, David Meredith, Christopher Clark. Thomas Stewart. 
Lawn-nee Baker, .Maurice Baugh, General Isaac Gregory and 
Nathaniel Allen were appointed Commissioners for improving 
the navigation of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds by opening 
Naa^s Head Inlet.* They were further authorized to cut the 
Raleigh (anal, in Tyrrel county, both for agricultural and navi- 
gation purposes. Thus it seems that a project which is even yet 
discussed, as to opening an outlet to the ocean, occupied the at- 
tention of these men of a former generation. Captain Collins 
and Nathaniel Allen were both of Kdenton and were men of 
large wealth, and in the Raleigh ('anal they were to realize im- 
mense profits by opening up a great body of rich lands upon 
Lake Phelps. Mr. Allen united culture to opulence and was the 

merly bo prominent in colonial times, and had been educated at William iV 
Mary College in Virginia. Be married Penelope, a daughter of Governor 
Samuel Johnston, and died at an early period <>f his manhood. Mr. Swann 
possi 88ed elegant culture and was much beloved and respected.f 

Public \' t-. vol. I. page 4">0. 
t Life of [redell, vol. II, page 228. 

1787. FALL OF FRANKLIN. 381 

intimate friend of William Hooper and others of the first ele- 
gance then in North Carolina.* 

Another act of amnesty was passed for the benefit of the west- 
ern insurgents at this session. t The ill-starred movement of 
Colonel Sevier was toppling to its fall. Davidson, Greene, 
Washington, Hawkins and Sullivan counties all sent representa- 
tives to the North Carolina Legislature. Sevier had called his 
attempted State Frankland, in compliment to the venerable and 
illustrious Benjamin Franklin, then lately returned from his long 
mission to France. This patriot and others gave no countenance 
to the movement. Their last attempt at a Legislature was in Sep- 
tember of 1787, at Greenville, which was again nearly a century 
later to become the focus of rebellion against the State of Ten- 
nessee, when that State had withdrawn from the Union and was 
struggling in aid of the Confederate States. Sevier persevered in 
his defiance of North Carolina until attachment was made of his 
slaves. These were carried to the house of Tipton for safe keep- 
ing, where a siege ensued until re-inforcements arrived and dis- 
persed the insurgents. 

The Legislature had called the Convention to meet at Hills- 
boro in July, 1788. In January of that year, Governor John- 
ston, amid great demonstrations in his honor, assumed control as 
Chief-Magistrate of North Carolina. % It was soon known thai 
Willie Jones was opposed to the adoption of the new Constitution. 
General Person in Granville, Timothy Bloodworth in New 
Hanover, and Dr. David Caldwell and ColonelJoseph McDowell 
in the West, were actuated by similar sentiments. These were 
all men of great and abiding influence, and it was at once -ecu 
that North Carolina was, at best, a doubtful State as to acceding 
to the proposed ratification. Judge Iredell, in a series of able 

*Note— Governor William Allen of Ohio, was born in Edenton, and ia 
grandson of Nathaniel Allen. Judge A. G. Thurman, of course, ia also 
another descendant, one degree further removed. 

fPublic Acts, vol. 1, page 148. 

JColonel Davie to Judge Iredell, January 11, 1788 


answers, replied to the published objections of Colonel George 
Mason of Virginia, and then came the very aide issues of the 
" federalist" as prepared by Alexander Hamilton, James Madi- 
son and John Jay. By this time, January 15th, three State- had 
ratified, and it was confidently expected that the requisite nine 
would be obtained to put the new government in operation. 
The elections occurred in April, and resulted disastrously for 
the Federalists. William Hooper in Orange, General Allen 
Jones in Northampton, Governor Martin in Guilford, William 
Blount in Craven, Alfred Moore in Brunswick, and Judge 
Williams in Granville, were all defeated. f Such had been the 
heat of the contest that General Person was heard denouncing 
General Washington for affixing his signature to bo "infamous 
an instrument as the new Constitution."! 

With the advent of June, attention was drawn to the action of 
Virginia in the Convention which met during that month. The 
Old Dominion exceeded all others in the ability of the nun 
who directed her councils, as much as in population and resources. 
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Henry, the Lee-. Mason and 
Randolph, were world-wide in fame, and the Southern State- 
anxiously awaited her lead in this most important and critical 
exigency. At length came the news that Virginia had also rati- 
fied, but proposed amendments.§ 

The North Carolina Convention, to consider the propriety of 
adopting the new Federal Constitution, met in the Presbyterian 
church in Hillsboro, on July 2 1st, 1788. It consisted of two 
hundred and eighty-eighl members. The Republican party had 
elected a great majority of the members, but with a disregard of 
this fact, which seems Btrange in these times, the body pro- 
ceeded to the choice of Governor Johnston, who had been for 

more than ten year- past the very head and front of the oppo- 
sition to views entertained by the greater portion of the ( lonven- 

Maclaine t" tredell, January !•"■. L788. 
; Madame to tredell, April '-'7. 1788. 
|ThoB. Iredell to Judge tredell, May 22, L788. 
gColonel Davie t<> Iredell. .Inly 9th, 17---. 


tion. Judge James Iredell of Edenton, for the only time in an 
active and useful life, was in a parliamentary body. He was now 
the acknowledged chief of the North Carolina Bar, and was to 
excel all others in his displays of zeal, eloquence and learning. 
He was thirty-six years of age, and was as ready in debate as he 
was profound in legal and constitutional knowledge^ His gra- 
cious bearing, elegant diction and known generosity of heart, 
made him a powerful advocate with the majority, who sat mostly 
silent under his appeals.* Colonel William R. Davie, too, was 
on the same side. To high renown, won in the heat of many 
bloody and glorious conflicts, he stood with the added prestige of 
the most brilliant jury lawyer then in America. If Iredell sur- 
passed him as a jurist, Davie was without a peer in the majesty 
of his manner and the gorgeous wealth of his diction. He was 
beautiful as Achilles and endowed with such gifts and graces as 
perhaps were to be found in such perfection in no other man 
then living. f Among the Federalists, too, was seen Archibald 
Maclaine of Wilmington. In his massive intelligence and great 
acquirements were none of the polished amenities so abundantly 
seen in the two orators just described. He crippled his useful- 
ness by a moroseness of temper, which was too apt to wound 
friend or foe in the violence of its ebullitions. On theslightesl 
provocation he could swear harder than the army in Flanders, 
and had, as it seemed, his chief pleasure in denunciation of those 
who were so unfortunate as to differ with him on any imaginable 
subject. £ Governor Johnston, as President, could only partici- 
pate in the debates when the body was in Committee of Whole. 
When in the controversies, he saw- need of aid to the Federal- 
ists, his calm and conciliating wisdom was powerfully effective.§ 
Young John Steele of Salisbury, had served the year before in 
the Legislature. Though his attention had been devoted to 
mercantile and agricultural pursuits, he developed a strength and 

"Hubbard's Lite of (iencral Davie. fLifeof Iredell, vol. II. page 232. 
JHis whole correspondence with Iredell-. 
^Hubbard's Life of General Davie, page 97. 


clearness in his addresses that were astonishing under the circura* 
stances. 41 

The Republicans of the ( lonvention were led by one who had 
failed bul once in twenty year- in procuring the passage of any 
measure he had advocated in North Carolina. A> a party 
leader, Willie Jones was incontestably far in advance of any man 
then in the State, it' not America. Many things conspired to 
give him extraordinary ascendency with both the Legislature 
and the people. He was patrician in descent, wealth and habits, 
hut reveled in dreams <>j' popular capacity for government. 
He loved and trusted the people in theory, hut was as dainty in 
his real associates as Governor Johnston or Lord Chesterfield. 
He was continually refusing great offices because he loved the 
substance of power in dictating to the legislation of the State bet- 
ter than the empty pomp of being Governor or of going to Con- 
gress, where he might not control even his own delegation. The 
people found him ever on their side and refusing office, and they 
believed him the greatest and most disinterested of men. He 
had fine abilities, yet disdained to make speeches to carry his 
points, and left to social hours the marshaling of his forces, and 
those subtle appeals, that no one else knew how to make to the 

individual.- he wished to control. Mr. .1 s believed that no 

man was infallible but Thomas Jefferson, and to that great and 
creative genius he looked for all the oracles to guide bis course. 
He was gay and loved his hounds and blood horses. He was 
affable to his opponents, but could be dangerous in his resent- 
ments. ; 

Willie Jones might dictate strategy, but upon Judge Spencer 
and Timothy Bloodworth fell the labor of meeting in debate the 
keen and eloquent leaders of the Federalists. Neither of them 
was admirable for the finish of his rhetoric. Spencer had been 

Note. General Steele was son of the good woman who so magnani- 
mously aided, with her small -inn- of ^<dd. the worn-out and dispirit* d < reneral 
< ireene on bis famous retreat. 

(•Life of Iodell. vol. II. page -l-Vl. 


for years a lawyer and a Judge, and compensated strength for 

his want of elegance. He was, however, a ready and powerful 
debater, and soon with his battle-axe struck fire from the rapiers 
against him.* Timothy Bloodworth found hi> greatest weak- 
ness in the multitude of his gifts. He had surmounted poverty, 
early ignorance and the strong castes of that day. and had long 
been in the high places of the new nation. He sprang from 
the people, and loved their cause with a devotion which was 
sometimes almost fierce in the intensity of its assertion. Yet he 
was gentle and kind in social life, and after talking politics in 
the week, could lift his voice in tenderest appeals for the Cross, 
when the Sabbath had come.* 

Dr. David Caldwell of Guilford, was also a leader of the 
Republicans in this body. Once before, in 177H, when the 
State Constitution was to be formed, in the plentitude of his 
patriotism he had yielded to the demands of his admiring neigh- 
bors, and left his sacred desk for the public weal. No wiser or 
better man was known, and his adhesion was a tower of strength 
to any cause he favored. f Colonel Joseph McDowell had won 
high renown in a score of conflicts. He had helped discomfit 
the British regulars at Musgrove's Mill. He had helped to 
drive back the desperate assaults of Ferguson on King's 
Mountain. He was by Colonel Washington's side when they 
reddened their victorious sabres in Hying ranks of Tarleton's 
legion at Cowpens. To heroic patriotism he added weighty char- 
acter and large discrimination. lie was no inconsiderable antago- 
nist in debate, and throughout his life was the idol of the west- 
ern people of North Carolina.! 

Another eminent divine held a seat in this ( invention, as del. - 
gate from Hertford county. This was Rev. Lemuel Burkitt. 
To him it seemed that obstacles were but stepping stones to su< - 
cess. Poverty and obscure parentage could not bar his way to 
knowledge and culture, and with his weak voi<-c he effected 

*Life of Iredell, vol. II, page 322. fWheeler, vol. II. page 131. 

JWheeler, vol. II, page 60. 


miracles of oratory not even attained in the instance of thai 
wondrous preacher, John Kerr. He was :i reformer dictating 
nobler creeds, an evangelisl traversing the vasi western wilderm ss, 
an historian to transmit to posterity the only North ( Sarolina nar- 
rative of lii> era. To his Baptist associates, ( ieneral Washington 

was to write, iii the following othofMay: "While I recoiled 

with satisfaction, that the religious Bociety of which you are mem- 
bers, have been, throughout America, uniformly and almost unan- 
imously, the firm friends to civil liberty, and the persevering 
friend- of our glorious revolution, I cannot hesitate to believe 
that they will l»e the faithful supporters of a free, yet efficient 

government, "t 

Mr. Burkitt's life-long friend, the wise and excellent Kli-ha 
Battle of Edgecombe, was also a member of the Republican 
portion of this Convention. He was the leader of the Baptists 
and a favorite presiding officer of the Kehnkee Association. 
Hi- wisdom and virtues have had abundant continuance in a 
large and most eminent posterity. 

( )n the reception of the report of the Committee on Rules, 
Willie Jones moved that the question of ratification should at 
once be put, asserting that the minds of the delegates wen 
already fixed as to that matter. This was opposed by Judge 

Iredell, and the House consented to debate. J 

Dr. Caldwell next submitted certain "fundamental principles 
of every .-ale and free government." These were six in number, 
and were insisted on by the reverend gentleman as a Btandard 
by which they should try the merits of' the proposed constitution. 
Judge Iredell a^ain took the Hoor, and demonstrated the imprac- 
ticability of one of these proposition.-. Upon a call of the previ- 
ous question, these maxims were defeated of further consideration 
by a vote of 70 to 169.* On July 30th, Colonel Joseph Mo- 

History of Meherrin, pages 16 and 17. 
['Washington's Writings, vol. XII. page L55 

I ■ i [redell, vol. II. page 233. 
gLife of [redell, vol. II. page 234. 


Dowel l, in addressing the House while in Committee of the 
Whole, said he had hoped that amendments would have heen 
proposed before the idea of adoption was entertained. He was 
sure a large majority of the people in the States which had 
already ratified were averse to the unamended Constitution. He 
acknowledged the necessity of a Federal government, but wished 
one in which liberty and privilege would be secure. In union 
was the rock of political salvation. He was for the strongest 
general government, but wanted a bill of rights to ascertain and 
declare the distinct reservations of power. He greatly distrusted 
the looseness of the fourth clause of the Constitution as to elec- 
tions. Why were reservations made as to the election of Sena- 
tors and none in the case of Representatives ? The trial by jury 
was not secured. Where was the assurance that a man's peers 
of the vicinage should determine the question of his guilt. So 
too with taxation"? What were the rules and limits which were 
to prevent the new government from becoming an empire ? Such 
a government in connection with the Northern States, by force 
of their majorities, would soon be found oppressive to the South. 
There was difference between the two sections in climate, soil, 
customs, manners and interests. From such causes he was con- 
strained to oppose unconditional ratification.* 

The Federalists, after vainly displaying their eloquent zeal to 
convert the majority opposed to unconditional ratification, next 
struggled for a direct vote, aye or no on the question, but they 
also failed in this. By a vote of 184 to 84 it was determined 
neither to ratify nor reject; but to recommend a bill of rights, 
and twenty-six amendments, and meanwhile to await the action 
of those States which had already joined the new government. 
The amendments were mostly those proposed by Virginia. 
Willie Jones quoted a letter from Jefferson, in which the sage of 
Monticello expressed the desire that nine States should adopt 
and thus secure the union, but that four should reject and thus 

^Elliott's Debates, vol. II, page 218. 



render certain the reoeptioD of the proposed amendments. 41 With 

the lapse of a century the vindicati >f the wisdom of the 

Republicans of 1788 is complete. Had North Carolina and all 
other States at once acceded to the new system, it is more than 
doubtful as to the adoption of the amendments. These were in 
the nature of a lull of rights, and have been justified by the 
greatest expounders of the American system, some of whom are 
little supposed to have leaned towards asserting State rights. 
In spite of the ninth and tenth amendments, there had Ween ever 

a great body of the American people who despise the restrictions 
upon the powers of the general government. The tyrant's law 
of necessity is ever the plea of those who have consulted their 
own wishes and party interests rather than the terms of the great 
stipulation between sovereign States, as the parties to a limited 

The State Convention of 1788 was also commissioned to fix 
the seat of government, which had been migratory since the 
earliest days of the colony of Carolina. The spot selected was 
the farm of Isaac Hunter, at Wake Court House, or some other 
place within ten miles of that locality, to be determined by the 
General Assembly. % The changes of the place of session for 
the Legislature had become an intolerable nuisance. It was a 
subject of more caballing than the election of the highest officials, 
and was fought over by the friends of rival towns to the great 
detriment of the real objects of legislation.!? Fayette VI lie lost 

her chance of becoming the capital by the defection of Timothy 
Bloodworth, who broke the array of Cape Fear men who were 
supporting the claims of that place. || 

The Legislature met at Fayetteville, on November 3rd, and se- 
lected the same presiding officers: (Jovernor .Martin in the Senate 
and John Sitgreaves in the House. Major Joseph Graham, who 

I ife of [redell, vol. II. page 284. fStory on the Constitution, page 266. 
(Public Acta, vol. II. page 28. 
j I N bates in < Vuivcntion, i 1 *.'!•"> i pago 127. 

Life of [redell, vol. 1 1, page 1 16. 

1788. LEGISLATORS. 389 

had been so conspicuous in the war, and had been Sheriff of 
Mecklenburg since then, was giving his first attendance as a 
legislator. He was a brave, wise and good man. He had married 
the daughter of Major John Davidson, and was rearing a family 
of useful sons and daughters. He was soon to remove to 
Lincoln, where he established large and successful iron works.* 
John Leigh of Edgecombe, and Frederick Hargett of Jones, were 
both to become conspicuous in the State's councils. Thomas 
Devane of New Hanover, was of a stock which then, as now, was 
distinguished for intelligence and morals ;f his colleague from 
the borough of Wilmington was the gifted young Irishman, Ed- 
ward Jones, who was making his mark at the Bar.J John John- 
ston of Bertie re-appeared in the Assembly after some years of 
absence. He was brother to the Governor and possessed many 
of his excellencies. Colonel Nathan Mayo of Martin, was neither 
eloquent nor profound, but was a man of sense and substance and 
was the successor of Elisha Battle, as Moderator of the Baptists 
in Eastern North Carolina.! Memucan Hunt of Granville, had 
been Treasurer of North Carolina since 1777, and was again re- 
turned to the theatre of his former usefulness. 

The great questions before this Assembly were, another Con- 
vention to consider the Constitution, the location of the seat of 
government, and the threatened Indian war. The people of the 
State were not satisfied with Willie Jones' programme of remain- 
ing out of the Union for five years, for fear of money collections 
in the Federal Courts.|| Meetings were held and petitions sent 
up for a new Convention, and the Legislature yielded to their 

JNote. — Mr. Jones was the first Solicitor-General of North Carolina. Dr. 
Johnson B. Jones, Mrs. William Hooper, Mrs. W. H.Hardin and Mrs. Abraham 
Rencher were his children. 

*Dr. Morrison in Wheeler, vol. II, page 237. 
fLife of Iredell, vol. II, page 221. 
t History of Kekukee Association, page 192. 
^Colonel Davie to Iredell, September 8th, 1788. 
||Colonel Davie to Iredell, September 8th, 1788. 


demands. The western nun were clamorous for a war against 
tin' Indians, who had been incited to atrocities both by British 
and Spanish emissaries. Such opposition was made to the l»ill 
locating the government that nothing came of it. 

Memucarj Hunt was succeeded by .John Haywood of Edge- 
combe, as Treasurer. Mr. Haywood belonged to a family which 

is yet noted for mental pre-eminence, and lie added to this a 

probity and benevolence which gave him the reverence of all the 
people Be was to remain in this high trust for the space of 

forty years.t Governor Johnston was re-elected to the Chief- 
Magistracy, with Whitmel Hall, John Skinner, Josiah Collins, 
David Connor, .lames Armstrong and James Iredell in the 
< touncil.J 

While a general Indian war was discouraged by the Legisla- 
ture, it was thought proper to send Colonel Joseph Martin with 
a battalion of infantry against the Chicamauga Indians.^ These 
had their lodges near the present city of Chattanooga, in Ten- 
nessee. That region was being rapidly settled, and was in great 
need of protection from the savages, who were continually in- 
cited by foreign white men to depredate upon the emigrant.- from 
the east. 

The new government of the United States went into operation 
in the spring of ITS'.). Under the guidance of that great man, 
who had led the armies through the years of war, this grandest 
of human experiments, began its demonstration of' the people's 
capacity for self-government. 

The 4th of March had been xt as the time for the meeting of 
the United State.- Congress, but on that day, only eight Senators 
and thirteen Representatives had appeared in New York. A 
quorum of the lower House was not had until March 30th, and 

(•Note. He was the son of William Hayw I. who had been prominent in 

the old Houae of Assembly and in the Revolution. Sherwood, Stephen and 
William H. Haywood, Si., were bis brothers. Judge John Bay wood of Hali- 
fax, was his first cousin. Haywood county was named for him. 

•Wheeler, vol. II, page 289. fJudge [redell to wife, November 19th, 1788 
tl.iir of Iredell, vol. II, page 271. 


of the Senate until April 6th. John Adams was installed as 
Vice-President on April 21st. The oath of office was taken by 
General Washington on April 30th, at the hands of Chancellor 
Livingston of the State of New York. It was a matter of con- 
gratulation to the good men of all nations, that so many hopes 
of the human race had the promise of realization in the wisdom 
and firmness of the new President. He well understood that 
his actions were to become precedents, and perhaps no other man 
could have been so circumspect and regardful of the future.* 
The inutterings of the coming storm in France were wafted 
across the wide waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Amiable and un- 
happy Louis XVI. vainly sought to lighten the burdens of his 
over-taxed people. f His assistance to America had increased the 
previous enormous debt of France, so that in 1783, when the 
treaty of Paris was signed, it amounted to five thousand million 
of dollars. The crushed masses were not only maddened by the 
exactions of tax-gatherers, but the French soldiers who had been 
at Yorktown and around New York, indulged in our over-drawn 
pictures of the liberty and bliss of free America, to add to the 
discontent of the excitable people. American success was the 
downfall of the successors of Charlemagne. General Washing- 
ton had not been President more than a month when the States- 
General of France assembled at Versailles. The Titans of com- 
ing disaster, headed by imperious Mirabeau, commenced their 
work of humbling the King and nobles. The world stood 
aghast as the mighty drama of blood and confusion unfolded its 
scenes. The anointed son of St. Louis bowed his meek head to 
the pitiless storm, and was led through the inhuman crowds to 
the guillotine. Soon upon the darkness and stench of the insup- 
portable night, as with the suddenness and flare of a meteor, was 
to rise the star of Napoleon. Banded Kings foiled, and dis- 
mayed in the grandeur of his resources, were to be powerless to stay 

*Washington's Writings, vol. X, pages 464, 465 and 466. 
fThomas Paine to General Washington, May 1st, 1789. La Fayette to Gen- 
eral Washington, March 17th, 1789. 

history OF NORTH CAROLINA. 1789 

his imperial march, and but afforded opportunity to his power 
and fame. 

North ( larolina, in the summer of 1789, listened to the French 
uproar, and grew more excited over the vexed question a- to 
the adoption of the Federal ( bnstitution. Willie .(ones was held 
responsible lor its defeat at Ilillsboro, and great hopes were enter- 
tained of his failure to be returned in the August election-. 
I reneral Rutherford and Colonel Matthew Locke had both been 
defeated in Rowan for the last Convention, and the gallant old 
Brigadier who had done so much for North Carolina, had with- 
drawn from her borders and was a denizen of the western forest.t 
Be was distinguished in the councils of Tennessee and i< yet 
commemorated in the names of counties in both Commonwealths. 

The Legislature met at Favetteville, November 2nd, and or- 
ganized, with Charles Johnson of Chowan as Speaker of the 
Senate, and Stephen Cabarrus of the same county in the Chair of 
the House.J At the same time and place the new Conven- 
tion met to consider the United States Constitution. Governor 
Johnston was again made President and was re-elected by the 
Legislature to the Chief-Magistracy of the State.§ The ( lonsti- 
tution met with small opposition and was ratified by a large ma- 
jority. In these two Conventions, called to consider the United 
State- Constitution, there were five delegates allowed to each 
county and also one to each of the boroughs. In the act calling 
the Convention, the Legislature had recommended the body to 
add Fayette vi lie to the list of borough towns and an ordinance 
to that effect was accordingly passed. Governor Johnston was 
again honored by the Legislature, after the Convention had 
adopted the Constitution, in his election as the first United States 
Senator ever chosen for North Carolina. ! There wire several 

'Maclaineto [redell, September L5th, 1789. 

| I ['"■ | ic i- tn [redell, September 2nd, 1788. 

I" iblii Acta, \.. I. I, page 1">3. 
gLife of [redell, vol. II. page 151. 

Wheeler, vol. II. 

1789. DEATH OF CASWELL. 393 

candidates for the other place in the Senate and the western men 
insisted that some one from that section should be chosen, but 
Colonel Benjamin Hawkins of Warren was the fortunate man, 
and thus the East monopolized both offices. Perhaps no county 
in the State ever held at the same time, through its citizens, so 
many distinguished places of trust as was then the case with 

Ex-Governor Richard Caswelll had been elected as Senator 
from the county of Dobbs. On the third day of the session he 
was stricken with paralysis while in his seat during the session of 
the Senate.* He never spoke, but lingered until the 10th, when 
he died, to the regret of every one in the State. | He was born in 
Maryland, August 3rd, 1729, and was consequently in his sixty- 
first year. William Blount of Craven, Joshua Skinner of Per- 
quimans, and Timothy Bloodw T orth, of the Senate, with Colonel 
Davie, Captain Stokes, Major Reading Blount of Pitt, Matthew 
Locke of Rowan, Wyatt Hawkins of Warren, and General 
Person, of the House, were appointed a committee of arrange- 
ments to superintend his funeral. An eloquent eulogium was 
pronounced over his remains and they were borne away to their 
resting place in the present county of Lenoir. 

After long and illustrious service, the foremost Carolinian had 
died in the harness. Ever since 1754 he had been constantly 
the occupant of great positions. He was as wise as Johnston, 
versatile as Davie, and more variously honored than any man in 
our history. On the battlefield, at the council board and every- 
where, for many years, his large and luminous intelligence had 
been given to the State and there was now nothing left but the 

*Note. — It would seem that a mistake has been made in saying that General 
Caswell was Speaker at the timeof his death-stroke. Numerous letters from men 
in Fayetteville speak of Charles Johnson in that position and none refer to 
Governor Caswell as being in the Chair. Johnson himself, wrote a few day* 
afterwards, announcing the death, but says nothing of his succeeding to tin- 
Speaker's chair. 

f Wheeler, vol I, page 89. 


memory of great services. It was likewise the last -'—ion of 
James Coor of Craven, who had been as long in the public ser- 
vice as ( Sovernor Caswell. 

'The only debutant in this Legislature who was to attain dis- 
tinction was Mussentine Mathews of the new county of Ire- 
dell.* He was to render long and conspicuous Bervice and he- 
came a leading man in the latter years of the eighteenth century. 
(ireat events and important legislation were witnessed this year. 
The fir>t statute provided for the election of representatives to 
Congress. Under the apportionment of the Federal authorities 
North Carolina was only allowed an equal number with her 
southern neighbor. The census of the next year showed that 
the true ratio was eight to five,f instead of five to live, 'flu 
second act was for ceding the territory south Of tin Ohio. It 
was provided that the Senators of North Carolina in Congress 
should have power to execute a deed of cession whenever the 
general government would accept of the terms of the grant. 
The land grants to the Continentals were to be held as sound and 
regular in any manner still necessary to the perfecting of their 
titles. This domain should be laid off in a State or States and 
Congress should guarantee the same privileges a- were possessed 
by other States, under the ( institution. Unlike Virginia, in her 
stipulation for the exclusion of slavery from the northwest, it 
was expressly provided that Congress should have n<> power to 
abolish such property in the ceded territory. I 

Another act ratified the proposed amendments to the United 
States Constitution. Under the able lead of Colonel Davie, as- 
sisted by the influence of Governor Johnston, the terms of the 
State Constitution were at last satisfied in the passage of an act 
creating the University of North ( larolina. Governor Johnston, 
Judge Iredell, Charles Johnson, \h\ Williamson, Stephen Ca- 
barrus, Richard I). Spaight, William Blount, Benjamin Wil- 
liams, John Sitgreaves, Frederick Hargett, Robert W. Snead, 

'Journals of L789. fGovernor Swain's Lecture, page 129. 
Public Act'-, vol I. page 466. 


Archibald Maclaine, Judge Ashe, Robert Dickson, Benjamin 
Smith, .Judge Spencer, John Hay, James Hogg, Henry W. Har- 
rington, William B. Grove, Rev. Samuel McCorkle, Adlai Os- 
borne, John Stokes, John Hamilton, Major Joseph Graham, 
Judge Williams, General Thomas Person, Alfred Moore, Alex- 
ander Mebane, Joel Lane, Willie Jones, Benjamin Hawkins, 
John Haywood, Sr., John Macon, Colonel W. R. Davie, Joseph 
Dickson, Colonel William Lenoir, Colonel Joseph McDowell, 
James Holland and William Porter were appointed trustees, 
with powers to establish and continue this great and beneficent 
public work. Another act provided for the erection of the 
necessary buildings. 




A . I>. 17 00 TO 1 7 9 6. 

Dr. Iln^'h Williamson, Colonel John Baptiste Ashe, John Steele, Timothy 
Bloodwortb and John Sevier elected members of Congress Tennessee 
ceded by the North Carolina Senators, Johnston and Hawkins — William 
Mount appointed by ( reneral Washington, Governor of thia territory -James 
[redell Judge of the United States Supreme Court -John Stokes District 
.Judge — Spruce McKay elected Judge of Superior Courts— Edward 
.Jones Solicitor-General — Colonel Hamilton's political projects— Congres- 
sional elections— Assembly at Fayettevilh — Colonel Lenoir and Stephen 
Cabarrus Speakers — United States Senators in odium— John Haywood, \i 
torney-General — North Carolina Bar of 1790 — The Dismal Swamp Canal- 
Political agitations — Washington and the Federalist — Conflicts in Federal 
and State Courts— Condition of the churches in North Carolina — General 
Washington comes South — Assembly at New-Bern— Prominent members- 
[redell's Kevisal of the Law — A new seal ordered for the State New coun- 
ties — Eastern and Western Ridings Indian war in the northwest- General 
Assembly at New-Bern — Membership — Governor .Martin. United States 
Senator in place of Governor Johnston— Richard Dobbs Spaighl elected 
< rovernor— Legislation — Joel Lane's farm selected as a seat of government — 
The French Revolution — Congressional elections John Leigh, Speaker of 
iln- House— English and French aggressions and the militia laws -('ailed 
Session of Assembly — Whisky rebellion in Pennsylvania — Herman Hus- 
bands in trouble— First Legislature at the city of Raleigh -Membership — 
Death of Judge Spencer and election of John Haywood — Blake Baker 
Attorney-General — Law against importation of slaves— Federalists and I;, 
publican- get into deeper antagonism — Jefferson as a partisan— General 
Lssembly of 1795 — Benjamin Smith and Colonel Lenoir, Speakers Mem- 
bership—Judge Ashe cb-cted Governor — David Stone his successor on the 
Bench — Timothy Blood worth I'nitcd States Senator— Elections to Fourth 
t longresB. 

Immediately upon the adoption by the Fayetteville Conven- 
tion, of the Federal Constitution, an election was ordered lor the 
choice <it' members in the national House of Representatives. 
Under that general rule of disparagement, which has always 
been vouchsafed North Carolina by the general government and 

other 3tate8, -he was allowed hut five members in the lower 


House, because it was supposed her proportion of population only 
justified that number. The members elected were Dr. Hugh 
Williamson from the Albemarle District, Colonel John B. Ashe 
of Halifax, Timothy Bloodworth of New Hanover, General 
John Steele of Rowan, and General John Sevier of the western 
country. They did not reach New York, then the seat of gov- 
ernment, in time to take part in important legislation touching 
North Carolina, but Alexander Martin having again qualified 
as Governor, Samuel Johnston hurried to the National Capitol in 
time to participate on the third reading of the act for enforcing 
collection of imposts in his State.* On February 28th, he and 
Colonel Hawkins, under the recent statute, executed a deed of 
cession of Tennessee to the United States, and on April 2nd, 
Congress accepted the conveyance under the terms of the statute 
authorizing it. By proclamation, dated September 1st, 1790, 
Governor Martin announced that Thomas Jefferson, then Secre- 
tary of State for the United States, had sent him a certified copy 
of the act of Congress, as approved by President Washington, 
accepting the cession for the district of territory south of Ohio 
River, and the inhabitants of that region were warned to " take 
due notice thereof, and govern themselves accordingly. "f 

Thus, at last, disposition was made of a serious and alarming 
difficulty. North Carolina had been for years anxious to convey, 
on proper terms, this portion of her soil, so that it might become 
another star in the galaxy of States, and yet with full knowledge 
of such disposition, the reckless and turbulent John Sevier had 
disregarded her authority, and at last incurred a portion of the 
punishment he so richly deserved. He had been arrested and 
brought to Morganton, in Burke county, where the Superior 
Court for the Western District was then held. Colonels Charles 
and Joseph McDowell, who were his old companions in arms, 
were moved to compassion at his condition, and became his tem- 
porary bailmen. He went off to procure further assistance of 
the same kind, and returned, but eventually contrived to escape. 

* Johnston to Iredell, February 1st, 1790. iWheeler. vol. I. page '.>7. 


I If bad come to Fayetteviile, ;it the recent session of the Assem- 
bly, as a Senator from Greene county, where his disabilities were 
removed, and he was allowed to take his seat.* General Wash- 
ington appointed William Blount of ('raven county, Governor 
of the Tennessee territory, who at once repaired to his charge 
and was never again a citizen of North Carolina.'] 

The other Federal appointments in North Carolina were -non 
announced. .lames Iredell of Chowan, became Associate- Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the United States. John Stoke.-, then 
of Montgomery county, was made Judge of the United States 
District Court for North Carolina, but died at Fayetteviile after 
holding his first court.! Judge Stokes bad been a gallant and 
tried soldier and had won no less regard as a jurist. As a testi- 
mony of the great esteem in which he was held, a county was 
that year laid oil' by the Assembly and called by his name. John 
Sitgreaves of New-Bern, was appointed as his successor on the 
bench. Like the lamented Stokes, Judge Sitgreaves had, in a 
variety of distinguished positions, won the public regard and 
ranked well among the rising lawyers of the State. § William 
H. Hill of New Hanover, was appointed United State- District 
Attorney and was in every way an admirable selection. || Under 

tXoTK. — In 1796, Governor Blount, then United States Senator from Ten- 
nessee, was expelled from the Senate for fillibustering upon the Spaniards of 
Louisiana, bul was warmly endorsed at borne. He was at <<wcr elected i«> the 

Tennessee Senate and made Speaker. 

JNote.- -On page L19, vol. II. of liis excellent history, Colonel Wheelei 
Bays that Judge Sitgreaves was appointed by Thomas Jefferson. Tliis must 
In- an error, as on page 104 he -ays Judge Stokes died in 1800, a year before 
Jefferson became President. There can benodoubt that he was appointed l>y 
General Washington in IT'.hi. Like Colonel Davie, Judge Sitgreaves married 
a daughter of General Allen .lone-. 

Note. Mr. Mill belonged to a cultivated family in Brunswick. They were 
unbending Whigs in the Revolution. lie married the daughter of General 

Jolm \she and was lather of Joseph Al-i'in Hill, wlm was so brilliantly con- 
spicuous for talent and virtu 

Wheeler, vol. I, page 97. 
JMaclaine to Iredell. October 18, 1790; Wheeler, vol. II. page 404. 


the recent statutes authorizing another Judge of the Superior 
Courts, Spruce McKay of* Rowan was this year elected to that 
position. He was son-in-law to Judge Richard Henderson and 
gave great satisfaction to the Bar both for his learning and judi- 
cial habits.* Edward Jones of Wilmington was elected by the 
Assembly to a new legal office known as Solicitor-General. He 
was at the time Reading Clerk of the House of Commons, and 
the Assembly intended, by adding him to the list of officials, to 
ease the burdens of the Attorney -General, who had a new cir- 
cuit added to those he had been previously required to visit, but 
this disgusted instead of pleasing Alfred Moore and led to his 
early resignation. f 

In the summer of 1790, North Carolina was greatly agitated 
over the bill before Congress for the assumption by the United 
States of the debts of the several States.J Colonel Davie and 
other eminent patriots distrusted the wisdom of such rash ven- 
tures on the part of the new government, which among its 
chief duties was to build up its credit. Alexander Hamilton, 
then Secretary of the Treasury, favored the bill and assured the 
members of Congress that the national credit would not suffer 
by its passage. Swarms of Northern speculators, on the strength 
of this, were buying up the old war claims at ten cents in the 
dollar. Mr. Madison advocated the payment of only ten per 
cent, to these and the residue to the original holders. § At the 
August elections there were warm contests. Charles Johnson, 
to the surprise of every one, failed to defeat Dr. Hugh William- 
son in the Edenton District, but Timothy Bloodworth was dis- 
tanced in that of Wilmington. Nathaniel Macon was returned 
from the Hillsboro District, Colonel John B. Ashe for that of 
Halifax, and John Steele was elected by a small majority over 
Colonel Joseph McDowell from the Salisbury District.|| 

*John Hay to Iredell, December 16th, 1799. 
fT. Iredell to Judge Iredell, February 3rd, 1790. 
^Governor Johnston to Iredell, April 6th, 1790. 
^.Johnston to Iredell, February loth, 17!H>. 
||Journals, and Hay to Iredell, December 16th, 1790. 


Late in the day, on December 1st, L 790, a quorum had assem- 
bled and the Legislature organized again in the tow □ of Fayette- 
ville. In the absence of ( lharles Johnson, who was sick at borne, 
Colonel William Lenoir of Wilkes, was chosen Speaker of the 

Senate. En the House Colonel William Polk of Mecklenburg 
vainly contested the Chair with Stephen Cabarrus." The mem- 
bers of the Legislature were greatly exasperated with the United 

State- Senators from North Carolina, especially with Colonel 
Hawkins. They were offended because the acts of Congress had 
not been sent them, and the Senators themselves were not at 
l'avettcville to confer with members of the Legislature, as had 
been the old custom of delegates to the Continental Congress, 
who were elected each year. The secret sessions of the Senate 
of the United States were offensive, "j" The salaries of Federal 
officers afforded matter of complaint, as was also the case with 
the excise bill. 

Governor Martin was re-elected to the Chief-Magistracy of 
the State, and John Haywood of Halifax, was chosen the buc- 

ssor of Alfred Moore as Attorney-General. It was hard to 
find a man in any land who was so fine an orator and vet so 
ample in his grasp of the law, as Mr. Moore, but .John Hay- 
wood was destined to be a greater lawyer. In breadth of mind 
and the wealth and accuracy of his legal knowledge, he wa8, per- 
haps, the greatest jurist who had yet been seen in the North < laro- 
lina courts. He was not only profound in the law, but rich in 
literary acquirements and labors, and left lasting monuments in 

Note. Colonel William Polk had served bravely through the war. !!<• 
was -mi of General Thomas Polk, and father of the laic Lieutenant-General 
Leonidas Polk ol the Confederate army, who was also the Episcopal Bishop 
of Louisiana, of Thomas G. Polk of Mississippi ami Mrs. Kenneth Rayner. 
Colonel Polk married Sarah, daughter of Colonel Philemon Hawkins, Jr. He 
lived in later times in Raleigh and was president of a bank. He it was wli<> 
tirst recalled attention t<> the forgotten glories of the Mecklenburg Declaration 
• ■f Independence. 

I-Judge Iredell to Hay. April 1 1th. 1791. 


both of these often antagonistic arenas. The North Carolina 
Bar was being deprived of its greatest ornaments. Iredell, Sit- 
greaves and Stokes had been benched, Johnston was in the Sen- 
ate, Hooper had died October 14th, 1790, and Archibald Mac- 
laine followed him in a few weeks.* 

There were few men in this Assembly who were to achieve 
eminence. John Hamilton of Edenton, Richard Blackledge of 
Beaufort, and Benjamin Smith of Brunswick, were all men of 
respectable attainments and, in the case of Mr. Smith, an endur- 
ing reputation was to be achieved. Willie Jones was not a mem- 
ber of this or the preceding Legislature. After many years of 
ascendency in the State Councils he had been overruled in the 
matter of adopting the Federal Constitution, and he, never again 
to fill a public station. It was not that he lost public confidence 
for he was still in effect the leader of the Republicans, but he 
had never been averse to office, and about this time he removed 
to Wake county, and from that point dictated much of the policy 
of those who opposed the dominant Federalists.f 

The legislation of this year was not very important. The 
Assembly was in session forty-five days and inaugurated a great 
public work. This was the Dismal Swamp Canal. Joseph ami 
Benjamin Jones of Pasquotank county have been claimed as the 
original advocates of this undertaking.]; As early as 1764 a 
company had been chartered by Virginia for draining and culti- 
vating the large body of land included in that State and near the 
city of Norfolk. § Colonel George Washington was one of the 
company. He had penetrated the lonely solitude and traversed 
the shores of Lake Drummond.|| A^irginia had authorized and 
procured the opening of a canal from Kemp's to Northwest 
Landing prior to 1784.|| In 1786 Robert Andrews and John 

*Judge Iredell to John Hay, April 84th, 1791. 

•[Journals and Correspondence of that period. 

J Jones' Defence, page 139. 

# Washington's Writings, vol. XII, page 267. 

||Letter of General Washington to Dr. II. Williamson, March 31st, 17S4. 


( looper for Virginia, ;ui<l William McKinzie, James < ralloway and 
< :i | »t:i in John Stokes on the part of the State of North ( arolina, 
had nut at Fayetteville in the latter State ami agreed npon the 
term- of a joint undertaking by the two Commonwealths t<> 
connect the waters of Elizabeth ami Pasquotank Rivers, Gen- 
eral Washington, who had reputation as an engineer as well as a 
military Leader, bad pronounced the Bcheme practicable ami 
subscribed to a portion of the stock. The hill as passed only 
needed the co-operation of the sister State ami the work was 
30on begun, Imt was many years in reaching a conclusion.* It 
was finally completed by aid of the general governmenl ami was 
one of the few public works undertaken by the United States 
which has repaid a large proportion of the amount Invested.f 

The lift.' of every free people is of necessity tilled with more 
or less of conflict and opposition. The operations of the new 
federal government were abundantly criticised in everj portion 
of the land. The assumption of the State debts incurred in 
prosecuting the war of independence bred great disgust in certain 
Commonwealths. Massachusetts had stirred up Shay's Rebel- 
lion in her noble efforts to relieve the credit of the general Con- 
federation as well as her nwn.j Her people now said it was un- 
just that they should he again taxed to discharge tin' obligations 
of South Carolina. They did not relic, t that the Palmetto State 
had been overrun for years by the armies of Great Britain and 
was left prostrate and wellrnigh undone. Boston alone had felt 
the bitterness of a tithe of the war which had re-ted many times 
longer on the whole face of the trampled Southern Common- 
wealth. South Carolina had contracted a large indebtedness in 
her efforts to procure the very blessings which were even then 
bringing a great commercial prosperity to New England. Men 
out of office are ever eh >rous against those w ho are in. ( lorn- 
plaints were made of the salaries of federal officials and it was 
especially harped upon that the members of Congress were the 

Washington's Will. Elisabeth <'it>.i Economist, 1878 

I [olmes, page 164. 


authors of their own pay, at six dollars a day.* There was, too, 
abundant sectional jealousy between the men of the North and of 
the South, even at that earlv dav.t It is evident, from the corre- 
spondence of that era, that local interest was the supreme rule of 
men who on the floors of Congress professed to be actuated by 
patriotism alone. The grandeur and unselfishness of General 
Washington was the onlv element to bind the souls of all men 
to faith in the integrity of the majestic fabric so recently erected. 
He sanctified the whole experiment, and mankind were satisfied 
that in his serene goodness and watchful supervision there would 
be allowed no departure from the terms of the great compact. 
Thus it was in the spring of 1791, that the people of North 
Carolina drew closer in their adhesion to the general govern- 
ment. They understood that the President inclined to the faith 
of the Federalists and that party made accessions of members to 
their ranks. They took for granted that General Washington 
could not err, and thus the Republican party, in their jealous re- 
gard for State immunities, underwent an eclipse that was to last 
until 1798. 

There were some indications of conflict of authority in the 
State and Federal Courts, which were far from being satisfactory 
to reasonable patriots. Captain Josiah Collins had qualified as 
the executor of Robert Smith of Edenton. The heirs of that 
accomplished gentleman were English subjects and brought suit 
to recover their rights in the estate. This action was in the State 
Superior Court. Captain Collins pleaded the Confiscation Act, 
but the plaintiffs sought relief in the United States Circuit Court 
for North Carolina, and upon a certiorari the State Judges had 
refused to send up the case, and the Legislature at Fayetteville 
had passed a resolution of thanks for their action.^ This mat- 
ter was further complicated in the fact that Judge Iredell of the 

•Judge Iredell's anonymous address in the Philadelphia Gazette, February 

1st. 1791. 
fSenator I'it^e Butler to Iredell, August lltli, 1799. 
jLife of Iredell, vol. TI, page 203. 



I Fnited States Supreme < lourt was a co-executor with ( ollins, bul 
had not qualified and was to <-\t as Judge in the ( lircuil ( lourt. 

During the progress of the Revolution in America there had 
been an interruption of all religious organizations in North 
Carolina. There were do genera] bodies organized for the whole 
State at that time, save the Sandy Creek and Kehukee 1 i: 1 1 » t i ?~i 
Associations, and the Orange Presbytery, established at Bunalo, 
in March, 177o. The Revs. Hugh Mo Aden, Benry Patillo, 
James Criswell, David Caldwell, Joseph Alexander, Hezekiab 
Balch and Kezekiah .lames Balch were sel apart as an independent 
Ix.dv tVi'in the Hanover Preshytery, with whom they had pre- 
viously been connected. Their first session occurred the next 
year at the Hawfields, where the eloquent Henry Patillo deliv- 
ered the inaugural sermon.* In 1788, as a preliminary step to 
the establishment of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church of tin' United State-, the Synod of the Carolinas was set 
off, containing the Rev. Messrs. Henry Patillo, David Caldwell, 
Samuel E. McCorkle, James Hall, Robert Archibald, James Me- 
Ree, Jacob Lake, Daniel Thatcher, David Baer and John Beck, 
with others from South Carolina and Tennessee.^ These learned 
and godly men hail Keen, without exception, active agents in pro- 
curing the liberties of America, and were located in the bell of 
country through which Lord Cornwallis hail made his different 
marches when invading North Carolina. 

The Episcopal Church had not been strong in numbers, even 
when the State religion. In 177<> not more than six established 
clergymen were to he found in the whole State.! Many 
prejudice- arose against the course of certain of these in the 
progress of the war, as they were mostly Loyalists. Revs. 
Charles Earl of Edenton and Adam Boyd of Wilmington wen- 
devoted Whigs, hut Rev. John Alexander was a Loyalist in ever) 
fibre, though -till listened to in the pulpit by his parishioners in 
Bertie and Hertford. Rector Gurlev of Hertford was dead. 

'Foote's Sketches, page 236. tFoote's Skit<l 

| Martin. \ nl. II, page 395. 


and he, too, never applauded the patriot eause. Upon the death 
of Mr. Earl, the Rev. Charles Pettigrew had succeeded to the 
charge of St. Paul's Church in Edenton.* He was a man of 
much piety and ability. In 1789, Bishop White of Virginia, 
through Governor Johnston, procured a call for a Convention of 
the Diocese of North Carolina, but this did not meet till 1794, 
at which time, in the village of Tarborough, Rev. Charles Petti- 
grew was elected Bishop. The frightful visit of yellow fever 
prevented his attendance upon the General Convention and he 
died before complying with all the Church canons as to consecra- 
tion. Bishop Pettigrew won the esteem and confidence of all 
Christians and was their earnest co-adjutor in every good work. 
Edward Dromgoole, the Methodist missionary, then planting 
the earliest churches of that faith in North Carolina, and others 
bore testimony to the noble charity of his creed and practice.f 

The Quakers were the oldest in their establishment, of all the 
denominations, and were numerous in 1791 in the counties of 
Pasquotank, Perquimans, Orange, Guilford, Johnston and Car- 
teret. The few Moravians were confined to the country sur- 
rounding the village of Salem. There were Lutherans in and 
around New-Bern, but that faith was declining. 

The Baptists were almost as old, in the establishment of their 
churches, as the Quakers. Shiloh Church, in Camden, was in 
existence as far back as 17274 Meherrin Church, at Murfrees- 
boro, was consecrated seven years later.§ Sandy Creek Church, 
in Randolph county, dated almost as far back. In 1765, the 
Baptist Churches of Eastern North Carolina and Southern Vir- 
ginia united in what they called the Kehukee Association. In 

*Note. — Mr. Pettigrew married Mary, daughter of Colonel John Blount, 
and was father of Ebenezer Pettigrew, M. C, in 1836, who was father of 
Charles, Rev. William, General J. J. Pettigrew of the Confederate States 
army, and of Mary, who also aided the lost eause. 

fLife of Iredell, vol. II, page 592. 

^Corner's Journal, 1729; Benedict's Baptist History. 

^History of Meherrin, page 6. 


this body, Elders John Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, John Moore, 
John Bargess, William Burgess, Charles Daniel, William 
Walker, John Meglamre, .lame- Abington, Thomas Pope and 
Henry Abbot, were the ordained preachers. The Baptisl 
churches in the western part of the State were likewise collected 

in the Sandy ( 'reek Association. 

In his Southern tour of 17!»<>, Presidenl Washington must not 
have enjoyed the beauty of the Bcenery as he passed from Rich- 
mond, by way of Halifax, Tarboro and New-Hern, to Wilming- 
ton, f These were then the only towns in the State lying on the 
route. He returned from Charleston and Savannah, through 
a more western portion of the State. Fayettcville had grown 
rapidly since the war, and still had many advocates for it- claims 
as the State capital. Murfreesboro, in Hertford county, had 
been incorporated in 17S7, and was a growing and beautiful 
village. It was named in honor of Colonel Hardy Murfree, who, 
as Major of the Second North Carolina Battalion, had won 80 
much renown at the storming of Stoney Point, on the Hudson 
River, in 1779. He did not long reside at the village in which 
he was so much honored, but removed to the large grant of 
lands belonging to him in Tennessee, where he gave his name 
also to the place of his residence there.J 

The General Assembly met at New- Bern in December, 17!H. 
Colonel Lenoir and Stephen Cabarrus again presided in their 
respective Houses. Nothing is more creditable to men of that 
day than their long continued honors to the gallant and accom- 
plished Frenchman. Colonel William Polk, with all the presHgt 
of hi- distinguished family, and his own brave services in the 

fNoTE. — Colonel Hardy Murfree married the daughter of Colonel Matthew 
Brickell, and lefl sons, William II. Murfree, M. < '.. in Edenton District, 
1418 '17; Matthew B, Murfree, and Mm. Burton still of Kentucky. The fre- 
quent mention of lii- name in the North Carolina statutes shows he was as 
highly prized in civil life as he had been in war. 

*Burkitt's Kehukee Association, page '.'. 
uk'- Life of Washington, page 170. 

1791 LEGISLATORS. 407 

field, had found it impossible, the previous winter, to unseat a 
man who had come to the State a few years before, a stranger, 
and had not now a single blood relative in the Commonwealth. 
He was to continue Speaker for years to come, and finally to 
leave his name in the immortal keeping of one of the finest 
counties in North Carolina. Colonel William Lenoir had no 
such shining qualities of eloquence and address, but with good 
sense, unassuming consistency and brave adhesion to his own 
views, went through life with the same valiant simplicity he 
manifested when leading his riflemen on their quarry at King's 
Mountain. Pure, gentle and knightly, he was the prototype and 
exemplar of the simple-hearted and unselfish people he loved 
and served so long.* General Thomas Wade of Anson, was serv- 
ing his last term, and was soon to be "gathered to his fathers."f 
General Thomas Person was under temporary eclipse in Gran- 
ville, from prevalence of Federalist influence, and, like Willie 
Jones, was in retirement. He was soon to re-appear in the 
Legislature, and to continue until the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. Another Farquhard Campbell came as a representative 
of Cumberland.^ Bertie sent two capable young men in David 
Stone and William Johnston Dawson. Mr. Stone was son of 
Zedekiah Stone, who had so worthily represented the same peo- 
ple for years past. He was fresh from Princeton College, in 
Xew Jersey, and was a lawyer of highest promise. Mr. Dawson 
was also just from his studies in England. § He was a polished 
and able man, who only lacked length of days to rival his 
eminent progenitors.|| Willis Allston of Halifax, the friend and 
protege of Willie Jones, was commencing a long and successful 

||Xote. — He was the grandson of Governor Gabriel Johnston, and conse- 
quently one degree farther removed from Governor Eden. He lived at Eden 
House, on Salmon Creek, a mansion long famous for the wealth and culture of 
its inmates. 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 462. fJournals. 

^Governor Swain's Lecture, page 122. 
#Life of Iredell, vol. II, page 272. 


career, which was to culminate in bis duties as chairman of the 
Committee of Way- ami Means, in Washington.* 

The firsl statute of this session confirmed Judge [redell's Re- 
vival of the Laws of North Carolina. t This work, like every* 
thing from the hands of that able and conscientious jurist, was 
as good as could have been accomplished under the circumstances. 
He went upon the Federal Bench bo booh after its inception that 
In' must have greatly needed time in a work where that elemenl 
i- so essential. Another statute was in furtherance of the ordi- 
nance of the Hillsboro ( invention, as to theloeation of the seal 
of the State government. Another provided that Governor 
Martin should he empowered to procure a new seal for the State, 
and that after its reception, the old seal of lTTo' should not be 
further used in any grants, or the authentication of public papers. 
Another was passed for quieting titles after twenty years posses- 
sion of land under known and visible boundaries. It was also 
enacted, that in cases of eviction from lands sold under the con- 
fiscation laws, the tenants should he reimbursed by the State. 
( louncillors of State were disabled of seats in the Assembly while 
in that office. Lenoir, Glasgow, Buncombe and Person counties 
were erected. After these, and sundry other aets of legislation 
of Less general interest, the Assembly adjourned January 17th. 

Governor Alexander Martin was again elected by the Legisla- 
ture, and entered upon his seventh year of service as Chief- 
Magistrate. He was adroit enough to have the support of men 
of both parties, and, though elected a- a Federalist, was soon t<> 
win fresh honors with the help of the Republicans^ After the 
addition of the Judicial District of Morgan, and the Solicitor- 
General in 1790, the Superior Courts were divided into what 
were called the Eastern and Western riding-. Morgan, Salis- 
bury, Fayetteville and Hillsboro constituted the Western, and 
Halifax, Edenton, New-Bern and Wilmington, the Eastern rid- 

Wheeler, v.. I. II, page 1'.''.'. [-Public \<:-. roI.II, page I. 

fPublii \'i-. vol. II. page 13. Major Pierce Butler to Iredell, 1794. 


incr. Two Judges, with the Attorney or Solicitor-General, held 
the Superior Courts, whereas, previous to 1790, three Judges 
went in company over the whole State.* The old Colonial 
Court habits were still preserved. The Judges insisted upon 
the wearing of gowns in open court, and would allow no lawyer 
to address the court without being so arrayed. t 

The year 1792 was characterized by political discontent, 
and a serious disaster in the northwestern territory. General 
Washington had found the effects of English machinations 
among the Indians. The tribes were induced to resist any 
crossintr of the Ohio River. General Harmar had been badlv 
beaten at Maurice, on October 17th, 1790. On the fourth of 
November of the next year, General Arthur St. Clair was sur- 
prised in Wabash county, and utterly routed by Little Turtle at 
the head of the Delaware and Shawanee tribes.^ There was 
growing discontent at the loose construction of the United States 
Constitution by Colonel Hamilton and the Federalist party, 
which at that day followed so implicitly his and the views of 
Vice-President John Adams. Thomas Jefferson, though also a 
member of the Cabinet, was recognized as the leader of the Re- 
publicans. These were open in their opposition to the leading 
features of the government's internal policy, and violent personal 
resentment was soon developed between Hamilton and Jefferson. 
There were serious discontents in North Carolina as to the excise 
laws.f They did not proceed to the extent soon to be witnessed 
in Pennsylvania, but serious and anxious mutterings were heard 
against the policy of collecting so much of the people's money 
for Federal purposes. 

The General Assembly met at New-Bern, November 15th, 
1792. Colonel Lenoir and Stephen Cabarrus were again selected 
as presiding officers. There were but few of the prominent pub- 

*Revised Statutes, vol. II, page o29. 

fW. Hooper to Judge Iredell, March 1st, 1787. 

J Holmes, page 157. 

f Washington to Hamilton, August 31st, 1792. 


lie men of the State in this Legislature. Charles Johnson of 

Chowan, Alfred Moore of Brunswick, Mussentine Matthew- of 
[red ell 3 Joseph Graham of Mecklenburg, and -John Swann of 
Pasquotank, had all won previous distinction as legislators. 
William P. Little was serving for the first time as the Senator 
for ( rranville.* -John Louis Taylor of Cumberland, was a young 
Irishman, who had won distinction as a lawyer, and was to 
become <>nc of the greatest jurists in North Carolina history.i 
Jasper < lharlton of Bertie, was a lawyer also, and was n spected 
as Mich in the limited area over which he extended his practice.]; 
Joshua Granger Wright was, for the first time, in a deliberative 
body. He combined learning and eloquence to a remarkable 
degree, and was the founder of a family still prominent in 
North Carolina. He was to win high legislative and judicial 
honors, and to be cut off in the meridian of his strength. Wil- 
liam Amis of Northampton, was another remarkable man. lie 
had surmounted early disadvantages, and had become a citizen 
of large wealth and respectability. He is famous in racing 
annals, as the owner of Sir Archie, the most useful ant] cele- 
brated horse ever owned in America. His near neighbor. Gen- 
eral Allen Jones, had retired from all participation in public 
affairs, and was soon to make his exit from a scene he had so 
long honored with his presence. 

Governor Alexander Martin was the choice of this Legislature 
as the successor of ex-Governor Samuel John-ton in the United 

*Note. -He was son of Colonel George Little of Hertford, and tin- nephew 
• it' General T. Person. He married Ann, the daughter of Colonel Philemon 
Hawkins, Jr., and was father of Colonel George Little of Raleigh, Thomas 
I'. Little of Hertford, and Mrs. Dr. Charles Skinner of Warren. 

f-NoTE. — Judge Taylor married the daughter of Dr. Uexander Gaston of 
New-Bern, who had been slain by the enemy in tin Revolution, and was con- 

-. . 1 1 1 » -u 1 1 \ brother-in-law to Judge William <ia~t«>n. 

Wheeler, vol. II. page •_".':;. 
[Judge Iredell to wife, I7^-J. 


States Senate.* He was regarded as a Republican, while Gov- 
ernor Johnston was ever an extreme Federalist. Richard Dobbs 
Spaight became Governor of the State, in place of Governor 
Martin, and was the first native-born incumbent of that high 
position. f In learning, eloquence and character he was one of 
the first men in all America, and was alike admired for his 
o-enius and virtues. 

The legislation of this session was not very important. An 
attempt was made to remedy some of the many frauds practiced 
upon the late soldiers of the State Continental line.| Another 
statute provided a death penalty on masters of vessels visiting 
North Carolina waters, and aiding, by means of their ships, the 
escape of negro slaves belonging to people resident in the State. § 
Chapter 14th confirmed the report of the Commissioners, ap- 
pointed by the last Legislature, locating the seat of the State 
irovernraent on the farm of Colonel Joel Lane, in Wake county. 
And thus, after its long habit of migration, the General Assem- 
bly agreed upon a permanent location for the government offices.|| 
The continuous struggles as to where the next term of the Legis- 
lature was to be held, were at last happily ended, and the legiti- 
mate Legislature of the State was thus to be attended to with- 
out regard to the rival cabals of New-Bern, Tarborough and 
Fayetteville. There were, also, acts for the choice of electors of 
President and Vice-President of the United States, and for 
dividing the State into Congressional Districts. A new county 
had been erected, and named for Judge Iredell, the year before, 
and Stephen Cabarrus was similarly honored at this term by a 
fresh division of Mecklenburg.** A company was chartered 
for improvement of Cape Fear River from Fayetteville to the 
confluence of Haw and Deep Rivers. 

With the advent of the year 1793, the French uproar extended 
its evil influences to America. The envoy of that unhappy 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 109. fRevised Statutes, vol. II, page ">:2o. 

♦Public Acts. vol. [I, page 24. ^Public Acts, vol. II, page 25. 

||Pnblic Acts, vol. II, page 28. **Public Acts. vol. II, page :?<>. 


and blood-stained land, citizen Genest, bad been Bent over with 
instructions to procure the help of the United States In an insane 
crusade then being prosecuted by the Jacobins against the Kings 
and governments of Europe. Nothing but the vast veneration 
of America for Washington, and bis firmness and wisdom, saved 
the in taut American Republic from the entangling alliance which 
the insolent and cunning Frenchman was seeking.* The great 
American patriot was induced to serve another term as President 
of the United State-. 

The Congressional elections in North Carolina were full ol 
excitement. I >r. Hugh Williamson was replaced, in the Edenton 
District, by William Johnston Dawson of Bertie. Thomas 
Blount of Edgecombe succeeded Colonel .lolm B. Ashe of Hali- 
t'ax.t Captain James Gillespie of Duplin, William B. Crave of 
Cumberland, Matthew Locke of Rowan, Nathaniel Macon of 
Warren, Colonel Joseph McDowell of Burke. Alexander Mebane 
of Orange, Benjamin Williams of Moore, and Colonel Joseph 
Winston, constituted the now delegation from North Carolina to 
the national House of Representatives. Thus, with the single 
exception of Mr. Grove, there was an entire change in the 
delegation, and instead of the five members originally appor- 
tioned, that number was now doubled under the recent census, 
notwithstanding the fact that Tennessee (which, on that occasion. 

-cut Colonel dohn Sevier, I had been ceded, and wa- 00 longer a 
portion of the State. 

The permanent seat of government had been -elected and 

Located at the embryo city of Raleigh, but as accommodations 
for the public offices were not yet constructed at that period, the 
Legislature met on December 15th, 17!).">, at Fayetteville. This 
was to be the lasl of the many wanderings of the State govern- 

tNoTE.— Thomas Blount was brother of Governor William Blount, then "i 
fi Mm ss< e, and of John < rray Blounl of Beaufort. I [e married Jack] . daughtei 
of Genera] Jethro Sumner, and died childless while a member of Congress. 

Holmes, page 177. 


incnt. Colonel William Lenoir of Wilkes again presided in the 
Senate, but Mr. Cabarrus was replaced in the House of Com- 
mons by John Leigh of Edgecombe. This wise and valued 
citizen had been, for years, growing in reputation as a parlia- 
mentarian, and was a worthy compeer of the Battles, Blount.-. 
Haywoods and Phillips of that ancient shire. William R. Davie 
of Halifax, Joseph Graham of Mecklenburg, William Gumming 
of Chowan, Joseph Riddick of Gates, and Thomas Wynns of 
Hertford, were the prominent leaders in the body, but there were 
many other useful and patriotic members, who were to give 
faithful service to the State, and to have honored positions in its 
limits. Some of these were to achieve great honors, and all were 
men of probity and consideration in their respective constitu- 

The growing insolence and aggressions of both English and 
French emissaries warned America that in the great wars then 
progressing, her rights were to be despised, and that nothing but 
the strong arras of a free people would save them from being 
continually plundered and dishonored. The first statute of 1793 
carried into effect a recent act of Congress for establishing a 
uniform militia throughout the United States. The men of the 
State were enrolled in regiments, brigades and divisions. The 
frightful visits of yellow fever at Philadelphia and elsewhere 
produced general rules of quarantine to be observed by vessels 
coming into any portion of the State. It was also provided that 
in grave offences slaves should be entitled to trial by juries. 
The new great seal prepared in consequence of the statute of 
1791 was approved, and ordered to be used in all public acts 
after March 1st, 1793. 

There was a called meeting of the Legislature at New-Bern, 
July 7th, 1794, which adjourned on the 18th day of the same 
month. There were but three acts passed. The first act ceded 
lands to the Federal government for a fort at Smithville, including 
the site of Fort Johnston. Beacon Island, at Ocraeoke, and four 

•■Journals of Legislature, 179:'-. fPublic Acts, vol. IT, pages 36, .'is and 48. 


icres at the headland at Cape Elatteras were likewise devoted to 
a similar purpose. Tin- second act amended the militia statute 
of the preceding session, while the third was for raising North 
< Carolina's quota of militia, as provided for in the recent legis- 
lation of the l T iiite<l State- Congress. Lord Dorchester, as 
Governor-General of Canada, had been recently reported as hold- 
ing language to the western Indian tribes strongly indicative of 
hostile intentions. In addition to this, certain secret societies in 
western Pennsylvania had created such opposition to the exe- 
cution of excise law.- that Judge Wilson, of the United State- 
Supreme Court, had apprised the government of a -tate of in- 
surrection. The President's proclamation .being disregarded, a 
large militia force was called out and put under the command of 
Governor Henry Lee of Virginia. The Whisky Rebel lion soon 
collapsed upon the approach of the troops and Herman IIu>- 
bands, who had fomented the war of the Regulation in North 
Carolina, was arrested and imprisoned as a ringleader. t Dr. 
David Caldwell happened to be in Philadelphia, and. with Dr. 
Benjamin Rush, procured the release of this ancient agitator and 
incendiary.} No troops were required from North Carolina in 
this dangerous affair, but the contingent was promptly filled and 
tendered the general government.^ 

The General Assembly of North Carolina met at the new city 
of Raleigh on December 30th, 1794, with the same presiding 
officers as had been seen in the last session. Jonathan Jaycocks 
of Bertie, Benjamin Smith of Brunswick, and General John 
Steele of Rowan, had been previously members and were men of 
influence and talent. George Pollock of Jones generally resided 
in ('raven, where, as in Halifax and Northampton, he was pos- 
sessed of greal estates. || Peter Forney of Lincoln was of great 

Notb. Mi. Pollock was ;i descendant of Governor Pollock of early colo- 
nial days. Hi- kinsman, ('ulleii Pollock of Edenton. was ;t man of lartn 

Public An-, vol, II, page 52, 

["General Washington to Hamilton, October •"•l-i, 1 T'.M. 
[Wheeler, vol. II, page 849. 

(Public Acts, VOl. II, ]>:igv ■">•_'. 

1794. NEW JUDGES. 415 

good sense and an eminently patriotic stock. John Hogg of 
Hillsboro was one of several brothers, who were all cultivated 

There was a vacancy on the Superior Court Bench, to be sup- 
plied at this session, in consequence of the death of Judge Samuel 
Spencer of Anson. He was in extreme physical debility from 
disease, and was left in the shade of a tree in his yard, where a 
turkey-gobbler, being excited by red flannel in his dress, attacked 
and beat him with his wings and so injured him that he 
died. He was a man of mind and was formidable as a debater 
at the bar ami in parliamentary bodies. He was not very deli- 
rate in his moral perceptions and was less valued among the law- 
yers on that score. f John Haywood of Halifax, then Attorney- 
General, was elected by the Legislature as Judge Spencer's suc- 
cessor.! Blake Baker of Warren was made Attorney-General. 
He was accounted a tnan of learning and discretion in his day, 
but was not of the stature characterizing his three immediate 
predecessors in that office, but this was a matter of extraordinary 
coincidence. James Iredell, Alfred Moore and John Haywood 
were legal giants, and Blake Baker might well have been a great 
lawyer and yet be inferior to them.§ 

The second act of this session was one of great significance as 
to the sentiments of the Southern people at that day. It was 
provided that heavy penalties should be visited upon any one 
presuming to import slaves into North Carolina for the purpose 
of sale or hire. Citizens of the United States or foreigners 
might come to reside in the State with their bond servants, or 
could pass through its limits to other States. Citizens might in- 
herit or obtain slaves under previous contracts, but not otherwise 
by importation from abroad. This was probably intended to 

wealth and culture. George Pollock was killed l>v a horse, about 1840, ;ml 
left his property to the late T. P. Devereux and the Burgwyns. 

*Joumals, 1794. tWheeler, vol. II, page 25. 

J Revised Statutes, vol. II, page 530. 
# Revised Statutes, vol. II, page 532. 


prevent t K<- further importations from Africa, hut it was in effect 
:ui interdiction upon inter-state trade in the matter of slaves. 
Southern sentiment at that day had a strong tendency to emanci- 
pation. General La Fayette, in his generosity, had appealed to 
( reneral Washington to suggest some scheme for the liberation of 
i he black people, and the great Virginian promptly answered that 
the proposition met his concurrence. : Virginia, through her 
mighty civilian, Thomas Jefferson, had insisted, in the ordinance 
for the government of the northwestern territory, that slavery 
should be forever excluded. North Carolina provided exactly 
different in her act of cession of the territory of Tennessee, but 
- an index of the true feelings of* a great body of the best peo- 
ple in the State, the Presbyterian Synod at Morgan ton, on Novem- 
ber 3rd, 1796, agreed to advise Rev. James Gilleland as to hi.- 
abolition sermons; "to content himself with using his utmost 
endeavors in private to open the way to emancipation, so as to 
secure our happiness as a people, preserve the peace of the ( Ihurch 
and render them capable of enjoying the blessings of liberty. 
Synod is of the opinion, to preach publicly against slavery, in 
present circumstances, and to lay down as the dutv of everyone, 
to liberate those who are under their care, is that which would 
lead to disorder, and open the way to confusion."' Another 
-tatute of the same session provided for the better discipline of 
-laves and free persons of color. It was, that regular patrol- 
should be kept up among the plantations and that all negroes 
found going at large and hiring their time should he arrested. 
Also that no meeting for the purpose of drinking and dancing 
-liould he allowed, unless by speeial permits in writing. That 
ill slaves found absent from their homes without BUch written 
passes should he liable to corporeal punishment. t It seem- 
•t range that men who knew so well the value of liberty to them- 
<elves should have thus abridged the -mall sum of enjoyments 

I:- vised Statutes, vol. II, page 530. 
> Public Ad-, vol. II. page 54. 


attendant upon those whose whole lives were ordered by the will 
and wishes of other men. 

In the year 1795 there was but slight division in North Caro- 
lina as to any matter of State policy, but an increasing bitterness 
between the Federalists and Republicans as to the proper con- 
struction of the Federal Constitution and the foreign policy of 
the American government. General Washington resolutely held 
his purpose of neutrality between France and England in their 
bloody and continued struggles for mastery in Europe. Thomas 
Jefferson was a very great man but thoroughly ambitious, and 
too often unscrupulous in the means he used to advance his own 
and his party's ends.* He took advantage of the unpopularity 
of the Jay Treaty to impugn the purity and motives of the whole 
administration. He filled America with his plots to embarrass 
the greatest of patriots, who so unwillingly had yielded to his 
own persuasion in consenting to serve a second term as President. 
Colonel James Monroe, in contempt of his instructions, was em- 
bracing and applauding the blood-stained miscreants of the French 
Convention and necessitating his recall, f while Edmund Ran- 
dolph, as Secretary of State, was only by accident discovered in 
disgraceful treachery to the policy he pretended to uphold.]; 

The Legislature met in Raleigh, November 2nd, 1795, and 
selected Benjamin Smith of Brunswick as Speaker of the Senate, 
and John Leigh of Edgecombe again to the Chair of the House. 
Benjamin Smith was a sensitive and impulsive man, whose life 
was checkered by the warmth of his feelings. He was generous 
to a fault, and, with General Thomas Person, made a noble bene- 
faction to the infant University of North Carolina, which this 
year went into operation at Chapel Hill. Dr. McCorkle deliv- 
ered an oration and General William R. Davie, as Grand Master 
of the Masons of North Carolina, laid the corner-stone of the 

*Note. — If any one should think the above a harsh estimate of the great 
civilian, let him consider Jefferson's connection with the Langhorne letter. 

tHolnies, page 179. ;{: Washington's Writings, vol. XI, page 90. 


East Building. Tlii> occurred in October, L 793, and was the 
beginning of ;i famous institution. In February of 17!>o, Rev. 
David Kerr, as professor, and Samuel Holmes, as tutor, opened 
the college, and on the l*2th day of that month, Hinton James 
of Wilmington, the first student, arrived.* 

( olonel William Lenoir, ( olonel John B.Ashe, Willi- Alston 
and General Thomas Wynns were the most prominent members 
of the Legislature of this year. Samuel Benton of ( France, John 
Johnston of Bertie,t and Hugh Waddell of Bladen, were new 
members and rather distinguished by their connections and oppor- 
tunities than real merit or intelligence.;}; They were gentlemen 
of cultivation and high respectability. The Legislature was not 
of much historic moment, except in the hearty effort to exclude 
all fresh importations of African slaves. § 

Judge Samuel Ashe was elected Governor to succeed Richard 
Dobbs Spaight.|| The new Executive was a man of large abili- 
ties and experience in public affairs. He had been for nearly 
twenty veal's in discharge of judicial functions and also a 
leader in all the exciting measures which led to the Revolution 
nid formation of the State government. He was ever an ex- 
treme Republican in his political views, and to this cause is to be 
attributed much of the hostility of the Federalist lawyers. 
David Stone of Bertie was elected to succeed Judge Ashe on the 
Superior Court Bench. ** He was already distinguished both in 
legal and political circles, and was recognized as a young man of 
the greatest promise. He was just twenty-five years of age when 
ihis high honor was conferred, and was the youngest Judge who 
had yet presided in North Carolina. ft Timothy Bloodworth 

|Note. -He was a nephew of Governor Samuel Johnston. He married 

tetty Cotton of Hertford, daughter of Godwin Cotton <>t" Mulberry Grove, 

• iid was father of Rev. Samuel [redell Johnston, I*. D., and Mrs.. I. I). Wynns 

of IvU'iitun. 

■ WImtIi t, vol. I. page 117. (Journal, 1796. 

{Public A.cts, vol. II, |ian<- 79. ||Revised Statutes, vol. II, page •">'.>»;. 

U. vised -cum,-, vol. II. page 530. ttWheeler, vol. II. page 32. 

1795. CONGRESSMEN. 419 

was elected to the United States Senate by only one majority over 
Alfred Moore.* This, however, was not the work of the Legisla- 
ture just described, but of the previous one. In the Congressional 
elections, Thomas Blount, James Gillespie, W. B. Grove, Matthew 
Locke and Nathaniel Macon were re-elected and Colonel Nathan 
Bryan of Jones, f Colonel Dempsy Burgess of Camden, Jesse 
Franklin of Surry, and Absalom Tatum of Orange, were elected 
as new members, as were also James Holland of Sampson and 
William Chad wick, whose residence does not now appear. 

fNoTE. — Colonel Bryan died at Philadelphia during the course of his 
'service, and was buried in the Baptist church-yard in that city. He bore 
to the Fourth United States Congress very much the same relations as a Chris- 
tian as were seen in J. L. M. Curry of Alabama, just preceding the late war 
between the States. Dr. Curry was almost as distinguished by his zeal as a 
layman as he is now in the character of a divine. 

^Governor Johnston to Iredell, February 14th, 1795. 




A . D. 17 9 6 TO l 80 6 . 

Political division a- 1" the French people < reneral Washington -avis America 
from an entangling]alliance with 1 1 » « - Tricolor- Assembly of 1796 — Benjamin 
Smith and M. Mathews Speakers — Defeat of the Kepnhlicans — Membership 
McDowell, Vance and Mathews to trace the Tennessee line — General Wash- 
ington retires to Mi. Vernon— John Adams, second President of the United 
States— Elections to the Fifth Congress Assembly of 17i>7 — Membership — 
Bill to punish the frauds of James Glasgow, John and Martin Armstrong 
and others -General Washington appointed to the command of the United 
States army— W. It- Davie Major-General of North Carolina's contingent — 
Alien and Sedition Laws — Assembly of 1798 — John Stanly — The land 
frauds — Downfall of Glasgow — Alfred Moore succeeds .Indue Stone on the 
Superior Court Bench — John L. Taylor also a .Indue —General Davie Gov- 
ernor Flections to the sixth Congress result disastrously to Federalists 
Jesse Franklin succeeds Bloodworth in the United State- Senate — Bona- 
parte State of North Carolina society and the slaves —Assembly of 17 ( .t ( .t — 

Members of oot« — Governor Davie succeeded by Benjamin Williams as 
Chief-Magistrat< — lie goes on French Mission- Death of .Indue Williams- 
Governor John-ton his successor — Deaths of .Indue Iredell and General 
Washington — Alfred Moore appointed to United States Supreme Court- 
Bar at that time Changes intheConrts Resolutions of 1798-'99 — General 
Riddick defeats their endorsement at Raleigh Judge Stone United State- 
Senator in place of Governor Martin Jefferson Presidenl of the United 
State- Elections to the Eighth Congress Assembly of 1801 New mem- 
bers — Death of .Indue Sitgreaves, and appointment of Henry Potter 
Statute of 1802, in relation to Negro Insurrections Spa it; lit and Stanly duel 
Congressional elections and ruin of Federalism -Flection of Colonel Ashe 
a- i lovernor Hi- death— James Turner < rovernor Locke elected .Indue in 
place of Johnston, resigned — Assembly of 1803 Members Nathaniel Ma- 
con Speaker of United State- House of Representatives Assembly of 
1805 General Wellborn'a road to Beaufort— Great revival of religion. 

In tin few memorials now surviving, of the deeds and 
thoughts of L 796, there is ahundanl evidence thai North Caro- 
lina participated in tin' bitterness of the party struggles, charac- 
terizing other parts of the country in thai unhappy period id' 
American history. Upheaval and change were abroad in Eu- 


rope. Ruthless force and military expediency were the only 
rules of conduct as to the treatment of America and her citizens, 
whenever by chance the ships of this country fell into the power 
of the English and French cruisers. A large portion of the 
American people, on the plea of assistance rendered in the Revo- 
lution, were open in their demands for alliance with the Direc- 
tory which had succeeded to the rule recently exercised by the 
monster Robespierre. Nothing but the wisdom and patriotic 
firmness of General Washington saved the country from this 
ruinous step.* The Republicans, as a party, were exasperated 
that after so carefully limiting the powers of the government 
of the United States in the terms of the Constitution, the Federal 
leaders were still construing that instrument in such a way as to 
amount to almost perfect disregard of the metes and bounds 
prescribed in the Federal compact. f Because General Washing- 
ton leaned to Federalist views he was denounced and slandered, 
although it was well known that he had refused to be a candidate 
for re-election as President. The contest for that high position 
lay between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and resulted in 
the choice of the former as President and his rival as Vice- 

The Legislature met on the 23rd day of November, 1790, and 
made Benjamin Smith Speaker of the Senate and Mussentine 
Mathews of Iredell Speaker of the House of Commons. 
There had been a bitter contest in the fall elections. Willie Jones, 
Gevernor Spaight and other ancient leaders were defeated..'!: 
There was still abundance of experience and ability among the 
members. John G. Blount of Beaufort, George Outlaw of Ber- 
tie, Waightstill Avery of Burke, General Gregory of Camden, 
Thomas Badger of New-Bern, § W. P. Little and General Per- 

3Notk. — Father of late Judge George E. Badger. He married the daugh 

ter of Riehard C'ogdell, as did also J. W. Stanley. 

*Holnies, page 1*57. f.Jeflerson's Correspondence. 

^General Davie to Judge Iredell, November I lth, 1796. 


son of Granville, General Davie and Willis Alston of Halifax, 
General Wynns and Robert Montgomery of Hertford, William 
White of Lenoir,* Generals Graham and Forney of Mecklen- 
burg, Joshua G. Wright of Wilmington, Colonel Samuel Ajshe 

an»l A. D. Moore of New Hanover, and General .lames Well- 
born of Wilkes, were the leading members."!' 

One of the most important acts of this Assembly was the ap- 
pointment of Colonel Joseph McDowell of Burke, David Vance 
of Buncombe, and Mr. Speaker Mussentine Mathews of Iredell 
as Commissioners on the part of North Carolina in resuming 
the line between that State and Tennessee.! Mr. Vance was a 
useful member of the Legislature and was to survive in an 
honored posterity. Colonel McDowell was the recognized leader 
of* the Republican party in the western counties, and was a> emi- 
nent for his sagacious leadership in civil matters as he had been 
dauntless and successful in the late war. The legislation of 
the sassion was of such a nature as to present but little historic 
interest and was confined to matters of court regulation and in- 
ternal policy. 

In the spring of 1797, the last administration of General Wash- 
ington closed. In his farewell address the same unfailing patriot- 
ism was evident that had so long illustrated his public services, 
lie went, in March, to his noble estate at Mount Vernon and en- 
tered again upon that retirement, from which he had issued only 
because of the public necessities. Hi- successor, John Adams, 
was a man of brilliant endowments, Strong passions and bitter 
prejudices. He was patriotic, hugely experienced and weak only 
in the fact of his great vanity. $ Be had neither the patience nor 

Note. Colonel William White married one of the daughters of Governor 
Caswell. He became Secretary of State upon the disgrace of James Glasgow, 
ami was for many years so clear in liis discharge of doty in that important 
station that lii- name is Mill revered in the State. He was :i good man, a 
faithful public servant and ;i leader in Raleigh's social life in the earlier days 
<>f that city's history. 

|- Journals of 1796. J Public A.cts, rol. II. page 96. 

{Bancroft, vol. VI, page 302. 

1797. LAND FRAUDS. 423 

the moderation of his predecessor, and was one of those who had 
all along advocated a strong government and was now so con- 
struing the Federal Constitution that the reservations therein 
amounted to almost nothing. He was the life-long rival of 
Jefferson, who was continually denouncing his latitudinous con- 
structions as palpable disregard of the organic law. Adams saw 
nothing but anarchy in the success of Republican views, while 
Jefferson prophesied tyranny and misrule as the result of the 
centralizing schemes of the Federalists. Adams was impatient 
and arbitrary, while his abler antagonist awaited the coming hour 
of great and abiding victory. 

In the Congressional elections of this year, the North Carolina 
delegation consisted of Thomas Blount of Edgecombe, Colonel 
Nathan Bryan of Jones, Colonel Dempsy Burgess of Camden, 
William B. Grove of Cumberland, Matthew Locke of Rowan, 
Nathaniel Macon of Warren, Colonel Joseph McDowell of 
Burke, Richard Stanford of Richmond, and Robert Williams of 
Surry.* The latter was a man of unusual attainments, and 
added to his other public service the preservation of certain State 
records, no where to be found but in his patriotic keeping.f 

The Legislature of 1797, met on November 20th, and selected 
the same presiding officers as of the last session. George Davis 
of Brunswick, Edward Graham of New-Bern, and Colonel 
Nathan Mayo of Edgecombe, were conspicuous among the new 
members for talent and influence, and have still abundant con- 
tinuance in their several posterities. The most important of the 
legislation of this year, was the bill looking to examination into 
certain alleged frauds concocted in the offices of James Glasgow, 
Secretary of State, and of Major John Armstrong, Commissioner 
of Land Patents, issued by North Carolina to her Continentals.^ 

\Xote. — General Robert Williams was one of a distinguished family. His 
father, Colonel Joseph Williams, was a patriot in the Revolution, and left 
useful Sons and daughters. Lewis Williams, " the father of the House. ' was 
one, and Chancellor T. L. Williams of Tennessee, another, besides others. 

fWheeler, vol. II, page 409. JPublic Acts. vol. II, page 110. 


It was provided thai neither Glasgow nor Armstrong should 
issue patents lor a year to come, and that In thai period the 
Comptroller, John Craven of Halifax, should furnish only Bueh 
as had been paid for. Three Commissioners, with power to 
send for persons and papers, were appointed. They were to 
meet at Mil lsboro, and, upon investigation, report to the Gov- 
ernor of the State any evidence of fraud to be found in the said 
offices. Whereupon it should be the duty of the Attorney 
and Solicitor-General to take such steps as might bring the offend- 
ers to justice.* The Commissioners, under this act, did not 
report in time for the Hillsboro Superior Court to take cogni- 
zance of the matter, and it was deferred for further legislation. 

Upon investigation, by a committee of the Legislature, it was 
discovered that by the connivance of Glasgow, one Tyrrell, then 
a clerk in the Secretary of State's office, was in the habit of 
issuing grants, calling for certain specified acres, but really con- 
tained a hundred fold more surface than appeared on the face 
of the deed. 

It seemed, as 1708 dawned upon America, that great event- 
would follow thickly, one upon another. The conduct of Prance 
was such that war with that power seemed Inevitable. General 
Washington, at the special request of Congress and the Presi- 
dent, was again put in command of the army, to he raised in 
contemplation of French invasion. North Carolina voted a full 
division as her quota of this provisional army, and ex-Governor 
William Richardson Davie was appointed Major-General, to 
command it. f He held the rank of Brigadier-General in the 
United States army, and if war had come, would have been a lit 
commander In the utmost danger. There seemed a great prob- 
ability that the French Directory would send over an army of 
invasion against their former allies, and Genera] Washington 
supposed that the Southern States would be their point of attack. 
An arsenal was established at Payetteville. Thewideocean was 
probably the safe-guard which delivered the American Republic 

Public \.is vol. II. page 110. fWheeler, v ..l. II. page 198. 


from the frantic assault of its European imitators. It would 
seem, that while at war with England, it would have been sheer 
madness in attempting what was soon done by Napoleon in 

A great crisis in the affairs of the new government was rapidly 
approaching. John Adams was both able and patriotic, but 
never a moderate man. Pie chafed under opposition, and was 
impatient of criticism. He imparted a dangerous and overbear- 
ing spirit to his supporters. The Federalists were in the ascen- 
dency in national affairs, and an utter disregard of their oppo- 
nents was constantly manifested. 

Governor Henry Lee of Virginia, in a letter dated January 
21st, 1795, showed that they could not tolerate even the position 
occupied by James Madison at that day. He spoke complacently 
of the recent armed suppression of the Whisky Rebellion in 
Pennsylvania, and its probable discouraging effects upon the 
opposition. On the 4th of May, 1798, a bill concerning aliens 
was reported in the Senate, and on June 8th, 1798, passed that 
body; Governor Martin voting in the affirmative, and Mr. Blood- 
worth in the negative. The bill passed the House on the 21st 
of the same month. All the North Carolina delegation, except 
Mr. Grove, voted in the negative. The Sedition Act passed the 
Senate on the 4th of July. It was warmly opposed in debate by 
Nathaniel Macon and Joseph McDowell of our State, in the 
House, and again Mr. Grove alone of his colleagues was found 
supporting this measure.* He must have been the most devoted 
of administration men, for he even endorsed John Jay's British 
treaty, so universally condemned by men of all parties in the 
South. f These odious and unconstitutional enactments were 
intended to arm the President with power to seize and send out 
of the country such foreigners as became offensive to the admin- 
istration. Furthermore to punish any native citizen who should 
harshly criticise the general government or its operations. It 
raised a storm of indignation through the country. The legisla- 

*Cluskev, page 4:5. fGovernor Johnston to Judge Iredell, 17!'!'. 


ture of Virginia and Kentucky passed their famous resolutions, 
and the Federalists hastened to their downfall. In the early 
years of the nineteenth century, the imputation of holding their 
opinions became a stigma, and was as fatal with political aspir- 
ants as the charge of abolitionism thirty years later.* 

The Legislature of L798, met on November 1 9th, and con- 
tinued the presiding officers of the last session.} The most 
distinguished new member of either House was seen in the per- 
son of John Stanly of New-Hern. He was the son of Joint 
Wright Stanly, who had married the daughter of Richard Cog- 
dell, so prominent in the early days of the Revolution. John 
Stanly was equally celebrated in his day as a jurist and politician. 
He was passionately vindictive and aggressive by nature, but 
possessed great learning and eloquence. His colleague, William 
Blackledge, also serving his first session, was a man of wealth, 
position and intelligence. 

Among the acts of this session, was one requiring attorneys to 
produce written retainers in court when their clients were absent, 
or in default of such authority thev should be debarred the privi- 
lege of appearance.]: There was still further legislation as to 
the land patent frauds. It appears from the art- that there was 
a land office in Nashville, Tennessee, under Colonel Martin 
Armstrong, and another in Hillsboro under Major John Arm- 
strong. The fraudulent patents were obtained from James ( rlas- 
gow, Secretary of State, and with the connivance of the others, 
Bought to be located at the disadvantage of the Continental sol- 
diers and the State. £ Colonel Glasgow had been in office since 
the formation of the State and had been so highly valued that a 
county had been called by his name. Ala.-, for his lame! He 
was dismissed in disgrace from his oilier and the name of the 
county of Glasgow changed into that of Greene, in compliment 
to the great soldier, who had then been dead for several years. 

Holmes, page 183 tPul.lir Acts, vol. II, page 14G. 

[Public A.ctB, vol. II. page 11'.'. gPublic Ads, vol. II. page 117. 


Colonel William White of Lenoir, the son-in-law of Governor 
Caswell, was elected to the office made vacant by the removal of 
James Glasgow and retained the place until his death in Octo- 
ber, 1811. 

Colonel Glasgow knew that Judge John Haywood had drawn 
the bill creating the Court of Patents, before which he was to be 
tried. He offered Haywood a thousand dollars to leave the 
bench and defend him. The offer was accepted, and the great 
jurist, who had gone up to try the offender, became his counsel. 
His elaborate services did not avail, for the culprit was convicted. 
Spruce McKay, John L. Taylor, and Samuel Johnston, were the 
Judges. Blake Baker, Attorney-General, and Edward Jones, 
the Solicitor-General, prosecuted, but the latter was mainly relied 
upon. Duncan Cameron was Clerk of the Court, and reported 
the case.* Some of the accomplices escaped, and were never 
punished. In 1797, Governor Ashe was warned by Judges 
Tatoin and McNairy from Nashville, by express, of a plot 
formed there to burn the State House in Raleigh, in order to 
destroy the records of the guilty parties. An armed watch was 
kept for some time. Philip Terrell, a negro slave of William 
Terrell, one of the absconding parties, was caught in a burgla- 
rious entry of the room containing the records, and was punished 

Judge David Stone this year resigned his place upon the 
bench and was succeeded by Alfred Moore.f Judge Stone pre- 
ferred a political station and was elected to Congress in the Eden- 
ton District, over Colonel Dempsy Burgess. John Louis Tay- 
lor of Cumberland, was also made a Judge at the same session, 
and was destined to as high a renown as was vouchsafed his more 
brilliant col league. f 

In addition to his recent military distinctions, General William 
R. Davie was at this session elected Governor of North Carolina. 
He was a member of the House of Commons for Halifax, and 

•-Governor Swain's Tucker Hall Lecture, pages 22 and 2:>. 
tRevised Statutes, vol. II, |>age 530. 


128 IIlsh'KY OF WORTH CAROLINA. 1798. 

this was to be his last appearance in the General Assembly. No 
man. perhaps, ever shone more brilliantly in the debates. I [is tall 
and courtly person, conjoined t<> majesty of demeanor and splen- 
dor of diction, rendered him by far the most striking orator yel 
Been in North ( larolina.* 

The elections in North ( larolina, as in almost the whole nation, 
resulted in disaster to the Federalists. In Congress, the dele- 
gation this year consisted of Willis Alston, Sr., of Halifax, 
Joseph Dickson of Duplin, W. B. Grove of Cumberland, Archi- 
bald Henderson of Rowan, f William H. Hill of Wilmington, 
Nathaniel Macon of Warren, Governor \\. D. Spaight of Craven. 
Richard Stanford of* Richmond, Judge David Stone of Bertie, 
and General Robert William- of Surry. Jesse Franklin of 
Surry, was elected to the United State- Senate in place of Timo- 
thy Bloodworth. Governor Franklin, like Nathaniel Macon. 
was dear to the people, because he typified their best qualities. 
lie did not shine in debate like Davie or outwit his competitors, 
like Alexander Martin, but he was strong in the simplicity and 
directness of his character. He loved truth, peace and justice 
and they -hone in his life and made him a beacon and assurance 
to all who knew him. 

The land frauds at home and the French uproar abroad, were 
the staples of thought and discussion to the men of Carolina in 
the la-t year of the eighteenth century.]; Like a great inun- 
dation spread the tide of blood and war over all Europe. The 
Corsican Lieutenant had become First Consul of France and at 
the age of twenty-live was displaying a genius for command that 
yel ha- do parallel in history. As the century was passing away 
there were many things over which the people of North Caro- 
lina had abundant cause for felicitation. With each year, as in 

(■Note. He was bod <>f Judge Richard Henderson and brother of the 
Chief-Justice "f 1 1 1 * same name. II< was one "f the very ablesl lawyers i ver 
seen in the State and possessed virtues t" match hi- intelligence. 

Revised Statutes, vol. II. page 626. 
(Judgi [redell'e Correspondence, 1799. 

1799. STATE OF SOCIETY. 429 

natural life, the bones of the infant Republic were hardening into 
increasing assurance of stability. The States of Vermont, Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee had been added to the Union and a great 
stream of immigration was pouring fresh thousands each year 
upon the rich plains of the Northwest.* It was perhaps the 
golden age of enjoyment to the two races peopling North Caro- 
lina. The relations of master and servant were patriarchal and 
mild. The Quakers were then, as subsecpaently, opposed to 
slavery, but they did not seditiously interfere with an institution 
sanctioned by law. The British and American acts of emancipa- 
tion were mostly things of the future, and there was nothing to 
suggest discontent to the slave or distrust to the master. The 
black people were in a great degree untrammelled as to social 
enjoyments. They participated largely in the enjoyments of the 
white race, and were free to conduct their religious exercises in 
their own wild manner. Some of their preachers were extensive 
travellers in dispensing the Gospel, and one, known as Blind Sam, 
traversed a large portion of the State in his missions.! 

The Legislature of 1799 met on the 18th day of November, 
and chose the same presiding officers. Zebulon Baird of Bun- 
combe, John Blount of Edenton, John and Thomas Hill of New 
Hanover, and John Martin of Stokes, were the new members of 
the year.f The first work of the session was the selection of a 
Governor. General Davie declined re-election, as he had ac- 
cepted a place on the French Mission just nominated by President 
Adams. He went to Paris in company with his associates, Oliver 
Ellsworth, Chief-Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and 
Mr. Murray, then envoy to Holland, and he was as marked in 
Napoleon's Court as he had been in the other conspicuous ,-cenes 
of his life. He was succeeded as Governor by Benjamin Wil- 
liams of Moore.J Governor Williams lacked much of equalling 
his brilliant predecessor in those shining qualities which render 

fHolnus, page 280. rllisturv of Meherrin, page 9. 

^Journals, L799. 


men famous, I >ut bis long hold on tin 1 public confidence showed 
the lasting nature of his gifts and graces. 

Judge John Williams, after presiding so many years in the 
courts, died at his place, at Williamsboro, in Granville, in 
October of 17!»!t, and was succeeded in the following Febru- 
ary, by ex-Governor Samuel Johnston.* Judge Williams was 
one of the best and kindesl men of bis day, and w;i» greatly 
prized for his social virtues, as well as judicial excellencies. 1 1 is 
early disadvantages had unfitted him for the very bighesl work 
in his profession, but he was a learned and upright magistrate, 
and loved mercy as he upheld the truth. t On the 20th day of 
the same month, Judge James Iredell, of the United State- 
Supreme Court, came to his death at Edenton. His great labors 
in riding the Southern Circuit had no doubt shortened his use- 
ful days. Repeatedly in his stick gig did this devoted public 
.servant traverse the wide and weary distances between Philadel- 
phia and Savannah.| He was a profound and luminous jurist, 
and won the admiration and regard from the lawyers of the whole 
nation. Death again claimed one of "nature's noblemen,' 1 and 
in the last hours of the century came the supreme loss in him, 
who so serenly awaited the inevitable event in his home at 
Mount Vernon. General Washington died as he had lived, the 
most faultless and majestic of men. 

President Adams, on December loth, supplied the vacant 
place on the Supreme Court bench, by appointing Judge Alfred 
Moore. $ No North Carolinian of that, or other days, was more 
worthy of the exalted position thus again tendered a citizen of 
the State, lie was lacking in the assiduity of his predecessor, 
but was still a greal jurist, and more brilliant as an orator than 
even Judge [redell. Great lawyers were thickening at that day in 
North Carolina. William Gaston and Archibald D. Murphy 
weii- already at the bar, and William Cherry of Bertie, was 
BOOH to leave ( 'hapel Hill and blaze like a meteor on the 

• I:, vised Statutes, vol. II. page 529. tWheeler, v.. I. II. page 163. 
(Life of Iredell, v.. I. II. {Revised Statute, vol. II. pus:. ••">.".<>. 

799. THE BENCH AND BAR. 431 

astonished gaze of men. Archibald Henderson was already dis- 
tinguished, and his brother Leonard was rapidly working his 
way to the very highest seats of legal learning. Imperious John 
Stanly at New-Bern, and Joshua G. Wright of Wilmington, 
were likewise Gamaliels, while laborious Peter Browne, then of 
Windsor, was absorbing law, and amassing a fortune which was, 
at last, to outweigh the earnings of them all. 

An extremely important change was effected in the court 
system at the Legislature of 1799. It was ordained that all the 
Judges should be divided into four ridings, and that after hold- 
ing the Superior Courts, they should meet twice a year at 
Raleigh, as a Court of Conference, and review all such cases as had 
failed to be decided satisfactorily. A Clerk was appointed, who 
gave bond and made out certificates of the written decisions 
given into his hands by the Judges. Thus, at last, uniformity 
and certainty was to be had in the rulings, and some method 
devised of perpetuating precedents. Morganton and Salisbury 
was one riding, Hillsboro and Fayetteville another, Halifax and 
Edenton the third, and Wilmington and New-Bern the fourth.* 
It was further provided that the former custom of requiring the 
attendance of all the Sheriffs of the different counties constituting 
the Judicial Districts, should be so altered that but three should 
be on hand at once, and that they should serve by rotation. f 
Another act abolished the custom of the Door-keepers preceding 
the Speakers of the Houses of Assembly, and the Sheriffs the 
Judges during Court.]; The silk gowns went also out of Court 
with these pompous and useless ceremonies. 

In addition to the deposition of James Glasgow, the land 
frauds resulted in the dismission of Martin Armstrong, John 
Armstrong and Stokely Donnellson, who had been in charge of 
the three North Carolina land offices. The punishment in their 
cases does not appear to have been so severe as in that of Ben- 
jamin McCulloh of Halifax. These men had all been high in the 

*Public Acts, vol. II, page 155. fPublic Acts, vol. II, page 135. 

JPublic Acts, vol. II, page Y.M . 


public confidence and their < l« -t . <-t i. m and disgrace created as greal 
a stir in North Carolina as was witnessed in the Credit Mobilier 
frauds of our own times. 

The Alien and Sedition Laws, the Jay treaty and the general 
intolerance of John Adams' administration, roused the indigna- 
tion of a greater portion of the American people. When James 
Madison in Virginia, and Jefferson in Kentucky, procured the 

3age of the famous Resolutions of L 798 and '99, many of the 
States endorsed the movement. A similar course was inaugu- 
rated in the North Carolina Legislature bul was forborne on the 
earnest opposition of General Joseph Riddick of Gates.f 1 he 
Presidential canvass of 1800 resulted in the choice of Thomas 
Jefferson a- President, and Aanm Burr as Vice-President of the 
United States. North Carolina and the whole South were 
strongly opposed to Mr. Adams and helped in the greal political 
victory which resulted in enforcing respeel for the reserved rights 
of the States and the checks in the United States Constitution. 

In the elections of 1800, was a mighty issue a.- to the future 

of the general government. Had the Federalists triumphed, there 

would probably have resulted such a latitudinous construction 

that Virginia and other States would have withdrawn from the 

Federal compact or been coerced into a fatal compliance with 

the centralizing aims of the conquerors. The Legislature 

met November 17th. and chose General Joseph Riddick as 

Speaker of the Senate, and in the House Stephen Cabarrus was 

returned to the Chair.t In the House of Commons was 

~een for the first time, William Gaston of Craven. He was 

twenty-two years of age, had graduated at Princeton and had 

been prepared for the Bar by Francis Xavier Martin, a gifted 

Frenchman who was then practicing law in New-Bern. 1 here 

lias lived no wiser or better man in America than William <ia~- 

ton. His Roman Catholic faith was not popular in North Caro- 

Public An-, rol. II. page 136. 

;. In.1...,. i foston'e Bpeech, 1835; Debates ip < invention, page L75. 
■ Publii \,i-. vol. II, page I 19. 

1800. DAVID STONE. 433 

lina, but the purity of his heart soon won the Confidence of all 
classes, while the splendor of his mental endowments made him 
by far the greatest man of his day in all the State.* Charles 
Hooks of Duplin, was also serving for the first time in a delib- 
erative assembly. f He was the brother of Mrs. Mary Slocumb 
of Wayne, who was famous for her adventure on the battle-field 

of Moore's Creek .J 

This Legislature elected Judge David Stone to the United 
States Senate, in place of Governor Alexander Martin. The lat- 
ter was noted for his shrewdness in finding the popular side of 
every question. He had been considered a decided Republican 
when he first became a member of the Senate.§ In the course 
of time, however, he changed sides and made the fatal mistake of 
voting for the Sedition Law.|| Judge Stone was to fall into even 
greater disrepute by his duplicity in after years, but he was on 
the topmost wave of political fortune in 1800, and by his great 
and undoubted talent was justifying much of the astonishing 
preference lavished on so young a man. He was barely eligible 
under the Federal Constitution, which required thirty years of 
as:e in a Senator.** There was but a short session of the Assem- 
blv this year, and no legislation of historic moment was ef- 

**Note.— Upon the resignation of Judge John Haywood, this year, John 
Hall of Warren was elected to fill his place. Judge Hall was a patient, wise 
and learned man and was greatly beloved for the benignity and purity of his 
character.ft Judge Haywood soon removed to Tennessee and bore with him 
perhaps the largest judicial capacity to be found in the State. Chief-Justice 
Leonard Henderson remarked of him in after years that he "disparaged 
neither the living nor the dead when he said that an abler man than John Hay- 
wood never appeared at the Bar or set on the Bench in North Carolina." J J 

*Wheeler, vol. II, page 114. f Wheeler, vol. II, page 140. 

JMrs. Ellett's Women of the Revolution. 

# Major Pierce Butler to Judge Iredell, April 3rd, 1794. 

||Cluskey's Political Text Book, page 43. 

ttWheeler, vol. II, page 440. 

JJW'heeler, vol. II, page 200. 


Mr. Jefferson became President of the United States on March 
ith. 1801. I lis removal from office of the Federalist incum- 
bents excited great remonstrance in certain quarters, but he was 
firm in his determination to root out the adherents of that faith, 
ami threw the influence of his administration against the old 
habit in North Carolina of largely disregarding a man's politi- 
cal views in the disposition of the very highest place- of trust. 
lie did not disturb the appointment of Colonel Benjamin Haw- 
kins as the Southern Indian Agent, but as a general rule hi> 
friends in the late contest were put in possession of the spoils of 
office. He was consummately wise as a party leader and laid 
deep and sure in the American heart the two great doctrines of 
popular power and States rights. 

The Congressional elections of 1801, in North Carolina, re- 
sulted in the choice of Willis Alston, Sr., of Halifax, William B. 
Grove of Cumberland, William H. Hill of New Hanover. 
Archibald Henderson of Rowan, James Holland of Sampson, 
Nathaniel Macon of Warren, Richard Stanford of Richmond, 
John Stanly of Craven, Robert Williams of Surry, and Charles 
Johnson of Chowan. Of these, Messrs. (J rove, Henderson and 
Stanly were Federalists, while the others sustained the adminis- 
tration measures. t 

The General Assembly convened November 16th, 1801, and 
continued the various presiding officers. The new members 
were Samuel Sawyer of Camden, Josiah Collins of ('how an. 
Henry Sea well of Wake, and James Turner of Warren.! Mr. 
Sawyer was a voung lawyer of talent, who all his life mingled 
law. literature and politics as his chief pursuits. Josiah Collins 
was the second of the name at Edenton. His father had left 
him a large estate, which grew under his management into 
great proportions. He married Miss Haves of New-Bern, 
and left a very cultivated posterity. James Turner had seen 
service in the Revolution and was a private with hi~ neigh- 

drich'fl United States, page 298 (• Journals of Congress, L801 
: Journals of Legislature, 1801. 


bor, Nathaniel Macon, in the same company. He was to rise 
suddenly to distinction and to preserve the confidence of his 
countrymen.* Henry Seawell of Wake, was a reproduction of 
Judge Williams, in his triumph over early disadvantages. No 
two men in our annals have so closely resembled each other in 
life and endowments. They became good lawyers in spite of 
poverty and early ignorance, and were founders of cultivated 
families, f 

The legislation of 1801 was principally in regard to legal 
technicalities, and was not of general interest-! John Sitgreaves 
of Craven, Judge of the United States District Court for North 
Carolina, having died in 1800, Henry Potter, then of Granville 
but afterwards of Cumberland, was appointed in his place and 
continued in the position for more than a half century. § Judge 
Potter was blameless but not shining in his magisterial func- 
tions. Mr. Jefferson, in his fine inaugural address, had fe- 
licitated the country upon the return of peace to Europe and the 
happy arrangement of the French difficulties with the United 
States. By his consummate tact and prudence he had largely 

fNoTE. — Henry Seawell became one <it' the most eloquent and powerful 
advocates ever seen in the State. He was hold, aggressive and almost as over- 
hearing in the court-houses as was John Stanly. He did not preserve the high 
morality or the serene temper of Judge Williams, as mentioned in the text, 
and is said to have died in consequence of intemperance while holding court 
in Nash county. 

JNote. — There were two acts in relation to slaves. One of them punished 
their being murdered, by death. The other provided that in case of emanci- 
pation, the owner proposing to liberate was required to execute a bond with 
good security to prevent such freed person from becoming a county charge. 
It was further enacted that in case of a slave-owner's removal from any 
county, upon his leaving infirm slaves behind, he should be arrested by 
the Wardens of the Poor and imprisoned, unless he should agree to carry 
with him such slaves or give security for their maintenance. The preamble 
to this act is anything but complimentary to the humanity of that age. Such 
a thing as abandonment of useless slaves was unknown in later days. || 

■Wheeler, vol. II, page 439. t Wheeler, vol. II, page 417. 

§ Wheeler, vol. II. page 220. || Public Arts, vol. II, page 17'.*. 



pacified the party contentions of the nation and numbered among 
the supporters of his administration, ex-President .I<.lin Adam-. 
With many inconsistencies in his theory of strict construction 
of the Constitution, he was still inculcating, as a leading prin- 
ciple, the duty of sacred observance of the reserved rights of 
the States. He had won the Presidency mainly by the divisions 
among the Federalists, but he was fasl rendering their return to 
power forever impossible.! He was not only the greatest phi- 
losopher of any time but the mosl successful of all party leaders. 

The Legislature of 1802, convened according to law, on the 
second Monday of November, with no change in the presiding 
otlieers. Benjamin Williams of Moore, was succeeded as Gov- 
ernor by .lames Turner of Warren. Colonel John Baptiste 
Ashe of Halifax, was elected by the Legislature to succeed to the 
Chief-Magistracy. The Houses requested his attendance to qualify 
as Governor, but within a few days after the reception of his 
letter of acceptance, came the melancholy tidings of his untimely 
death, at his home on the Roanoke. A most gallant and 
knightly spirit was thus lost to the State in the meridian of hi< 
usefulness. His valor in the field had been most nobly supple- 
mented by eloquence and assiduity as a public servant in the 
few subsequent years of his life. Thus it was that a second 
election for Governor was held, and Mr. Turner was selected to 
the place destined for ( !ol I Ashe. 

Among Governor Williams' last official acts was the pardon 
of John Stanly for killing ex-Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight 
in a duel. This unfortunate affair occurred on Sunday, September 
5th, 1802. Stanly, with his usual bad temper, had offended 
Spaight, who challenged him. Perhaps the annals of duelling 
never furnished an acceptance couched in such abusive and malig- 
nant terms. Dr. Edward Pasteur was the second of Governor 
Spaight, and Edward Graham that of Mr. Stanly. At the 
fourth round Governor Spaight was -hot in the right side, and 

Baldwin's Party Leaders, page 63 tl\ui\ Leaden, page 66. 


died the next day.* The slain statesman had been a Federalist, 
but had abandoned the party on the election of John Adams, 
and was a prominent leader of the Republicans. Me was a 
generous and brilliant man, and his death carried sorrow to every 
heart in the State. 

Among' the new members of this session, were James W. Clark 
of Bertie, Nathaniel Allen of Edenton, Nathaniel Alexander of 
Mecklenburg, Evan Alexander of Salisbury, Duncan Cameron 
of Orange, and Edmund Jones of Wilkes.f 

The Legislature, among its leading men, contained Gabriel 
Holmes of Sampson, Henry Sea well of Wake, Mussentine 
Matthews of Iredell, Joshua G. Wright of New Hanover, and 
George Outlaw of Bertie. Its first statute was to carry into 
effect the contract between the State and Phineas Miller and Eli 
Whitney, the patentees of the newly invented saw-gin. North 
Carolina, for a consideration, acquired the right to control the 
profits arising from the use of cotton gins in our borders. The 
benefits of this arrangement were all on the side of the patentees. 
A tax of two shillings and six pence yearly, was levied on 
each saw of the machines used, and collected by the Sheriffs. 
The State Treasurer was required to pay over the sum thus col- 
lected, on the first day of November, annually, to the patentees, 
their heirs and representatives.! 

The second statute re-arranged Congressional districts. Per- 
quimans, Chowan, Currituck, Camden, Gates, Pasquotank and 
Hertford constituted the first, and exactly corresponded with the 
present territorial limits of the first Senatorial District of North 
Carolina.§ The fourth statute was entitled. " An act for the 
relief of the Tuscarora nation of Indians." It recites the chiefs, 
Sacarusa and others authorized, requested the concurrence of the 
General Assembly to certain leases of the residue of their land-. 
so that the whole should terminate at the same period, and that 
after the 12th day of July, 1816, the title to the region oom 

* Wheeler, vol. II, p:ige 112. fjournal, 1802, 

JPublic Acts, vol. II. page L90. gPublic Acts vol. II, page 192. 


known as the "Indian Woods/' should rever( to and vest in the 
State of North Carolina. Governor William R. Davie, recently 
returned from the French Mi— ion. veas appointed by Mr. Jeffer- 
son to negotiate with the whole Tuscarora tribe, as to their agree- 
ment with the State; a tnaty was signed under his auspices at 
Raleigh, December 4th, the same year. Under the statute and 
treaty, the descendants of Tom Blount and his braves, ninety- 
eight years after the creation of their reservation, turned their 
backs upon their ancient hunting grounds, and joined their 
kinsmen in New York. The surviving Tuscaroras in that 
State now live in Niagara county, and their present chief is 
called Mount Pleasant. The King of the Sandwich Islands is 
-aid to be the grandson of Saearusa. 

In the same session of the Legislature we find the first harsh 
statute against the negroes. It was for the purpose of discourag- 
ing and suppressing insurrection among the slaves. The whole 
• » t " our previous legislation touching our African population had 
been for their benefit. Cruel ami neglectful masters had Ween 
forced by law to provide for the sick and helpless. For the first 
time serious disturbances in Hertford and Washington counties 
called lor the strong arm of the law in their suppression. It does 
not appear that any lives were lost among the white people, hut 
dangerous and unlawful combinations and aims were discovered. 
The magistrates and militia soon restored order. The Legisla- 
ture enacted that any insurrection or conspiracy looking to the 
same, among persons of color, should upon conviction of the 
offenders, be punished with death. But it was provided that in 
case ;i large number should he found guilty under this statute, it 
should l»e lawful for the court in which they were prosecu ted, in 
it- discretion, to commute the punishment of some by ordering 
them to In' sold beyond the limit- of the State. ; 

Thus brave men are ever merciful. North Carolina desired 
no "Bloody Assize" in her borders. This law expected and 
required the capital punish men 1 of any ringleaders who should